No fault divorce

My fiance and I live in PA. He fooled
for divorce in February 2018. We sled
his esteemed wife for her address and
she refuses to give it to us. We sent
the paperwork to her mother’s and tools
her that. She refused to get them.
Well we received them back in the mail
today. Cam he still proceed with the
divorce? They have been separated for 4
years.

Asked on March 16, 2018 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In a situation such as yours, there is a legal remedy known as "divorce by publication". By way of background, before any legal action can be taken against an individual they must first be given an opportunity to appear and explain their side. This is called "notice". Divorce by publication allows a spouse to be served notice of the divorce action even if there address is unknown. The filing spouse (the  "petitioner") must make a good faith search to find their missing spouse (the "respondent"). They have to present proof to a court that they made a genuine effort to locate their absent spouse's whereabouts. At this point, the petitioner will be allowed to serve the repondent by publishing notice of the divorce in a newspaper in the missing spouse's last known location; this is instead of the usual method of personal service. The court will then instruct the petitioner as to which newspaper should be used. Typically it will be in one that is in the area of the respndent's last known address. The respondent wiil have 30-60 days to file their answer. If they fail to do so, then the petitioner can file a request to enter a "divorce by default". Typically, this type of divorce is granted upon the terms requested by the petitioner (although the respondent is given a certain time in which they can appeal). At this point you should consult directly with a local divorce attorney as they can best advise you further.


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