What to do if I want to divorce my wife but I haven’t seen her in 10 years and I don’t know where she is?

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What to do if I want to divorce my wife but I haven’t seen her in 10 years and I don’t know where she is?

We separated a month after our marriage 11 years ago.

Asked on June 20, 2012 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

When you file your petition for divorce with the court, since your wife's whereabouts are unknown, she can be served by publication.  Service by publication is running the notice of your divorce petition in the legal notices section of the newspaper.  The amount of time the notice has to run for it to be valid service by publication varies from state to state.  The court clerk at the court where you file your petition for divorce can tell you how long the notice has to run in the newspaper for it to be valid service by publication.  Even if your wife never sees the notice in the newspaper, it is still valid service by publication.


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