If I want to divorce my wife but I don’t know her location, how do I proceed?

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If I want to divorce my wife but I don’t know her location, how do I proceed?

How do i serve her?

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

Alan Pransky / Law Office of Alan J Pransky

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In Massachusetts, in addition to service by publication, you can ask the court to serve by an alternative method.  If you know relatives who are in contact with your wife (perhaps her parents), you can file a motion to serve them on behalf of your wife.

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since you don't know your wife's location, she can be served by publication.  Service by publication is running a notice of your petition for divorce in the legal notices section of a newspaper for a specific period of time.  The required period of time the notice has to run in the newspaper varies from state to state.  The court clerk in the court where you intent to file your petition for divorce can tell you the amount of time the notice has to run in the newspaper for it to be valid service by publication.  Even if your wife doesn't see the notice in the newspaper, it is still valid service by publication.


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