How can my boyfriend get his wife to sign for a divorce?

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How can my boyfriend get his wife to sign for a divorce?

He has been separated from his wife for about 8 years now but yet they still married. We want to get married and now he currently looking to divorce, howeveri his wife is unreachable. So how can he go about getting this divorce?

Asked on March 27, 2016 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There is a legal remedy called "divorce by publication". Before legal action can be taken against a person, they must be given an opportunity to appear and be heard. This is called "notice". Divorce by publication allows a spouse to be served notice of the divorce action by other than by the usual method of personal service.
The filing spouse (i.e. the "petitioner") must make a genuine and thorough search to find their missing spouse (i.e. the "respondent"). They have to present proof to a court that they made all good faith efforts to uncover their missing spouse's whereabouts. Once they do, the judge will allow the petitioner to serve the repondent by publishing notice of the divorce in a newspaper; the petitioner will be instucted as to which newspaper to use. Generally, it will be in one that is in the area of the respndent's last known location. 
The respondent will then have approximately 30-60 days to file an answer (depending on state law). If they fail to do so, the petitioner can file a request to enter a "default divorce". Typically, such a divorce is granted upon the terms requested by the petitioner (however the respondent is given a certain time in which they can appeal).
At this point you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area. They can best advise you further.


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