What is the best way to go about re-filing for a divorce without having to return to that state and see an abusive (ex) spouse?

Especially if you are unaware of his whereabouts and don’t have many financial resources for a lawyer? I moved to another state after a divorce from an abusive spouse and later found out that my divorce paperwork had somehow been filed as incomplete and expired without my being given notice.

Asked on September 15, 2012 under Family Law, Indiana

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the last divorce was dismissed for "want of prosecution" or "expired," then what you should do is considering filing in your new state.  You don't have to go back to the other state where the abusive ex-spouse lives.  Instead, file a new petition for divorce in your current state and county.  You can have him served by"publication" if you don't have any idea of where he lives.  Because your case involved domestic abuse, many counties and churches offer legal assistance for victims of domestic abuse.  More and more family law attorneys are also offering payment plans to make it easier for clients to obtain services.  So consider both sets of options for representation.  The most important thing, however, is not to put yourself at risk.  It might take a bit longer to get a divorce in your new state, but it's safer than exposing yourself to more abuse.


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