If I got married overseas but never saw my wife after I returned to the US and now have no idea where she is, how do I know obtain a divorce?

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2015

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If I got married overseas but never saw my wife after I returned to the US and now have no idea where she is, how do I know obtain a divorce?

About 8 years ago, I got married to a Vietnamese woman in Vietnam (marriage was there). I was expecting her to come to the US after I filled out all her legal paperwork. When I got back to the US, I couldn’t get a hold of her. I tried for 2-3 months for contact, with no results. When this happened I just assumed that my marriage to her was voided because she never did come to the US, so the marriage was a “fraud” on her part. I am now engaged, and I want to know how I can “legally” get a divorce from her? I don’t know where she is or how to find her. My fiancé is insisting I make sure that Im divorced from this Vietnamese girl. How can I do this? Where can I go to void this past marriage?

Asked on June 28, 2015 under Family Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can file for a divorce, or potentially an annulment, even if you don't know exactly where she is at.... you'll have to jump through some extra hoops, but it's doable.  I would recomment hiring an attorney that has experience with having individuals served by publication.  Notice doesn't have to be perfect, but you do have to attempt it so that you can proceed forward with a divorce.  If you don't get the divorce, the risk you take is this woman showing up a year from now claiming that (1) she if your wife and (2) demanding an interest in the community property estate that you aquired with your fiance. 

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