Can you Get Divorced if You Can’t find Your Spouse?

las vegas divorce attorneyI can’t find my spouse but I want to file for a divorce. Are you in this situation? What do you do? When your spouse is out of state or you simply don’t know their whereabouts, how do you file for divorce?

Typically divorce papers have to be delivered by mail or in person but if you don’t have an address, this isn’t possible. You need to basically file for Las Vegas divorce “by publication.” This means you need to hire a divorce attorney and take the following steps.

Here’s what you should do

First you need to retain a Las Vegas divorce attorney. They will help you file for the divorce. Once you file, the attorney will try to have your original petition for divorce served to your husband or wife. They will do this by serving it to your husband or wife at their last known address.

If your spouse happens to have relatives living nearby, the attorney will send service to their addresses as well to increase the odds of reaching him or her.

What if my Las Vegas divorce attorney can’t locate my spouse?

If you still have no luck, your attorney will serve your spouse “by publication.” There will be a notice of intent for divorce run in the local newspaper. Some states will require specific information included in there, so except to include:

  • Notice that a case for the divorce was filed
  • Your name, your attorney’s name and the name of the court
  • A description of marital property that would be affected by the divorce
  • And advising that judgement by default will be entered against your spouse if there is no response within a certain period of time, usually 30-45 days from the date of publication of the notice which should run once a week for a four week period

You can then proceed with the divorce process if there is no response in the allotted timeframe. You’ll most likely get the divorce, custody of children and any property acquired during the marriage.

Each state works differently, but this is the basic idea of what would happen when filing for Las Vegas divorce from a missing spouse.