Is there any way that I can continue our divorce without my wife cooperating?

I’ve been separated from my wife for a total of 16 months. I went to serve her paper about 5 months ago but i cannot locate her. However, her family and friends refuse to give me the whereabouts of her or refuse to take the papers to her for her to sign. s there any legal action that I can take to get this divorce over with?

Asked on August 31, 2016 under Family Law, South Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As with any divorce, you'll have to serve your spouse with notice of the action in order to give them an opportunity to answer your complaint. In such a case as yours, you can give your wife notice of the divorce via what is called "publication". This means that you can put a notice in a newspaper in the area of her last known whereabouts. The judge will instruct in what newspapers you need to do this. After that, if you still don't hear from your wife, then you can proceed with the case. Accordingly, a "divorce by default" will be granted. As a general rule, a someone can file for their own divorce, however your situation is a bit different, so you would be well-advised to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area.

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