Where if I Don't Know Where my Spouse Resides

We occasionally meet clients who don't know where their spouse is residing. Sometimes, the client knows the general area, but doesn't have a specific address. Other times, the client has not seen their spouse in many years, and has no idea if he or she is even in the country.

Q: What do I do if my spouse won't give me their home address?

If it's possible to locate your spouse despite not knowing their home address, do that.

For example, perhaps you still have a valid work address. Or perhaps you have a friend or relative who can locate and serve him (or her.) If your spouse defaults (meaning fails to respond to the Summons with Notice), you can file the divorce papers using his or her last known address. If your spouse responds to the papers, the current address will be in the response.

If serving your spouse is not possible, then you'll need to make what's called a "diligent effort" to discover the address.

There is a list of steps that the court requires to conclude that your search was diligent.

Once you've made your search, then you may either serve your spouse using "service by publication" or by "alternate service."

These days, alternate service could include serving your spouse by e-mail or even by Facebook.

Q: What do I do if I have more questions?

Call our office.