If you are married but have not seen “your wife” in years and have no way of reaching her, how can you get a divorce?

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If you are married but have not seen “your wife” in years and have no way of reaching her, how can you get a divorce?

Can I remarry?

Asked on January 14, 2016 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In a situation such as this, you can "serve" a divorce complaint via a notice "by publication".  This is a legal ool employed when a respondent-spouse (your wife) cannot be located by the petitioner-spouse (you). 
To obtain a divorce by publication, you will need to perform a thorough search for your missing wife in the same general location in which she was last known to reside. If your search fails to locate her, you an then apply to the court to issue an order of publication. When the judge signs off, a legal notice will be sent to the newspaper(s) named in the order for publication. In NY it must be published within 30 days after the judge signed the order and then must be published once a week for the next 3 consecutive weeks, each on the same day of the week.
If your spouse does not respond within the allowed timeframe, you can file the divorce by "default".  In approximately 2 to 4 months, you'll receive your final judgment.
What you need to do now is to consult directly with an attorney in your area. Until your divorce is final, you cannot legally re-marry.


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