How do I get divorced if I can’t find my husband?

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How do I get divorced if I can’t find my husband?

I want to divorce my husband, we haven’t
been together physically or sexuality
since 2013 but he has vanished. I tried
everything to find him with no luck. In
the state of NH can I just hope ahead
and file or do I have to find him first?

Asked on September 26, 2018 under Family Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The concept of "notice" in any legal proceeding is mandatory. In a divorce this means that even if a spouse can't be located they still must be notified of the divorce action before it can proceed. This is accomplished through a "divorce by publication". The way it works is that you as the filing spouse must make a genuine effort to locate your husband. You'll have to present proof to the court that you made a diligent search for him. Once you have demonstrated that you have done so to the the court's satisfaction, you will be allowed to you to serve him by publishing notice in a newspaper (as opposed to personally serving a summons which is the usual method). The court will instruct you as to which paper you should use; typically it will be one in the area of his last known address. If your husband fails to answer the notice in approximately 30-60 (it depends on the specific jurisdiction), he will have "defaulted" and the court will grant the divorce on the terms that you requested; it will be finalized withing about the 60-90 ays (again depending on state law).

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The concept of "notice" in any legal proceeding is mandatory. In a divorce this means that even if a spouse can't be located they still must be notified of the divorce action before it can proceed. This is accomplished through a "divorce by publication". The way it works is that you as the filing spouse must make a genuine effort to locate your husband. You'll have to present proof to the court that you made a diligent search for him. Once you have demonstrated that you have done so to the the court's satisfaction, you will be allowed to you to serve him by publishing notice in a newspaper (as opposed to personally serving a summons which is the usual method). The court will instruct you as to which paper you should use; typically it will be one in the area of his last known address. If your husband fails to answer the notice in approximately 30-60 (it depends on the specific jurisdiction), he will have "defaulted" and the court will grant the divorce on the terms that you requested; it will be finalized withing about the 60-90 ays (again depending on state law).


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