How canI divorce my wide if I can’t find her and prove that her child is not mine?

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How canI divorce my wide if I can’t find her and prove that her child is not mine?

My wife left when our daughter was 3 months old. Myself and other family members are pretty sure the baby is not mine but I am still the father of record. How can I prove to the courts this child is not mine when I cannot find her mother? I’m sure it would be an uncontested divorce but I have had no contact with my wife for over a year. She has not asked for child support and for obvious reasons I don’t think she will. I just want to be done with it but the county clerks office is absolutely no help and legal aid says I make too much money. I would not be asking if I could afford an attorney.

Asked on January 3, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have an uphill battle here.  First, the issue as to the divorce.  The key here is serving your wife. I am sure that the laws in your state have provisions for serving an absentee spouse.  Usually it requires some affidavit if due diligence indicating your attempts to find her and then requesting that the court allow you to publish the petition for divorce in the local paper.  They will for a certain number of times.  At the conclusion you would file the publishings with the court and they would grant the divorce.  Now, the divorce is for the marriage only.  A court will generally not distribute assets with an absentee spouse situation.  And it is assumed that a child born during the marriage is the child of the parties to the marriage.  It will probably not assign child support but one never knows.  As for proving the child is not yours a DNA test is what you need and you can't do that without the child (unless yo have a fiber of her hair or something to test).  Save for an attorney.  Good luck.


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