If my husband lives out of the country and I don’t have his address, how do I serve him the divorce papers?

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If my husband lives out of the country and I don’t have his address, how do I serve him the divorce papers?

Husband was deported 2 years ago and banned for life from the U.SIi filed for a divorce 3 months ago. I do not know his address in his country.Ii have called his relatives but no luck. I did mail a copy of the summons certified to an address he once gave me 2 years ago. It came back as he does not live there.I am representing myself andIi will now file for a motion for alternative service. Is this going to work? Can I just mail it or do I have to go into the court to give it to them?

Asked on August 1, 2011 Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Service of the pleadings - the summons and complaint - is as you know key to the court being able to decide the divorce matter before it.  They can not decide something against someone if they do not have what is known as personal jurisdiction over them.  Now, service by publication is an option here.  A motion requesting the court to allow you to publish generally requires what is known as an affidavit of due diligence on your part which states everything that you have done in order to find your husband to serve him.  Sometimes hiring an investigator is necessary but since he lives in another country that may not be required.  AS for mailing what to the court do you meant he motion?  I would bring it down personally.  If it is rejected then you will lose time and have to go down there anyway.  Good luck to you.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Service of the pleadings - the summons and complaint - is as you know key to the court being able to decide the divorce matter before it.  They can not decide something against someone if they do not have what is known as personal jurisdiction over them.  Now, service by publication is an option here.  A motion requesting the court to allow you to publish generally requires what is known as an affidavit of due diligence on your part which states everything that you have done in order to find your husband to serve him.  Sometimes hiring an investigator is necessary but since he lives in another country that may not be required.  AS for mailing what to the court do you meant he motion?  I would bring it down personally.  If it is rejected then you will lose time and have to go down there anyway.  Good luck to you.


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