How can I divorce my ex if I don’t know where to find him?

UPDATED: Aug 6, 2012

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How can I divorce my ex if I don’t know where to find him?

I moved out of state a little over a year ago. I’m not sure where he ended up. We have been seprated for 3 years. I just want to divorce this guy.

Asked on August 6, 2012 under Family Law, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can file your petition for divorce in the state where you live.  You will need to serve your ex-husband with the divorce petition.  Since you don't know your ex-husband's present whereabouts, he can be served by publication.  Service by publication is running the notice of your divorce petition in the legal notices section of a newspaper for a specific period of time.  The required period of time for the notice to run to constitute effective service by publication varies from state to state.  Your court clerk can tell you how long the notice has to run in the legal notices section of the newspaper for it to be effective service by publication.  It is effective service by publication even if your ex-husband never sees the notice in the newspaper.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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