That to do if I have no idea how to file for divorce since I don’t know exactly where my husband is?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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That to do if I have no idea how to file for divorce since I don’t know exactly where my husband is?

My husband is a cross country trucker. I don’t know where he is from one day to the next. All I know is that he lives in CO but he’s rarely home. He owes me child support because I opened a case with DCS right after our informal separation. I am unemployed and on state assistance and can’t afford the fees to file. I have most of the forms filled out because I printed them and met up with him almost a year ago to fill them all out. I never filed them because I wasn’t sure if we did them right, didn’t have the money, or, as the sole caretaker for my child, didn’t have the time or ability to physically go to a courthouse because I also didn’t have a vehicle until recently. I just am at a loss and want to end this part of my life but have no idea what the next step is.

Asked on November 15, 2018 under Family Law, Washington


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to contact Legal Aid to have the documents reviewed before filing with the court.  You can obtain a court form for  waiver of the court filing fee.
Since you don't know your husband's location, you can have a process server do a skip trace.  If that is unsuccessful, your husband can be served by publication, which is running a notice of your petition for dissolution of marriage in the legal notices section of a newspaper for the required period of time.  The court clerk can tell you the required period of time the notice has to run for effective service by publication.  Service by publication is effective even if your 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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