The wife and husband have been apart for 9 months. He wants a divorce but cannot find her. How can he get legally away from his wife?

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The wife and husband have been apart for 9 months. He wants a divorce but cannot find her. How can he get legally away from his wife?

The wife is wanted by police for various drug/alcohol/dui infractions. She will
not come forward to sign a divorce because she doesn’t want to be ‘caught’ and
be put in jail.

Asked on April 22, 2018 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Before any legal action can be taken against a person, they must be first given the opportunity to appear and explain their side of things. This is called "notice". Due to something known as "divorce by publication", a spouse is allowed to be served notice of a divorce action even if their address is unknown. The filing spouse (a/k/a "petitioner") must make a good faith search to find their missing spouse (a/k/a "respondent") and then they must present proof to a court that they made a sincere effort to locate them. At such time, the petitioner will be permitted to serve the repondent by publishing notice of the divorce in a newspaper near the missing spouse's last known location (this is in lieu of the usual method of personal service). The court will then instruct the petitioner which newspaper to use; as a general rule it will be in one in the area of the respndent's last known address. The respondent will then have 30-60 days to file their answer. If they fail to do so, the petitioner can request to enter a "divorce by default". The divorce is typically then granted upon the terms requested (although the respondent is given a certain time in which they can appeal). At this point, you may want to consult directly with a local divorce lawyer; they can best advise you further under specific state law.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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