If my husband left me 6 months ago and moved out of state and I want to self-file for divorce, how would I arrange for him to be served?

UPDATED: Jul 20, 2015

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If my husband left me 6 months ago and moved out of state and I want to self-file for divorce, how would I arrange for him to be served?

Would he need to come back here for any reason?

Asked on July 20, 2015 under Family Law, Connecticut


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you know your husband's address, he can be served by a process server, who is in or near the city or town where your husband currently resides. You can find process servers listed under attorney services in the Yellow Pages or online.

If you don't know your husband's address, the process server can do a skip trace to locate him, and then he can be served.

If the process server is unable to locate your husband, you can do service of process by publication which is running a notice in the legal notices section of a newspaper regarding the petition for divorce you have filed with the court.

The required length of time that the notice has to run in the newspaper varies from state to state.  Check with your court clerk to inquire how long the notice has to run for effective service of publication in your state.  Service by publication is effective even if your husband never sees the notice in the newspaper.

Your husband could appear in court in your state, but most likely, he will be allowed to participate in any hearing by telephone without returning to your state.  He would have to file documents with the court requesting a telephonic hearing and those documents need to be timely filed.  Your court clerk can tell you the rules and procedures for telephonic hearings as those rules vary from state to state.  Also, it is up to the discretion of the judge whether or not to allow a telephonic hearing. 


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