In order to get divorced, you need to initiate the divorce process by serving your spouse. Normally, your spouse is served in person or by mail. But when you can't find your spouse, serving him or her may seem impossible. This is why there are alternative methods of service available, including: "service by posting" and "service by publication." So what do these terms mean?
"Service by posting" means that you serve your spouse by having your summons posted in a visible location at the courthouse. In comparison, "service by publication" means that you serve your spouse by publishing your summons in a newspaper in the location where your spouse is likely located.
Before you begin either method of service, you need to request the court's permission. There are specific requirements that must be met before a judge will allow you to serve your spouse by publication or by posting.
Here's an example of a situation where you might need to have your spouse served by publication or by posting. Let's say you got married a decade ago, and you and your spouse separated after a couple of years. You intended to get divorced, but you either never got around to it or you thought you were divorced but something went wrong and you're still legally married. It's years later now, you have no idea where your spouse is located, and you want to finalize your divorce. The problem is you don't communicate, and you didn't keep in touch with each other's families and friends, so you have no idea how to find your spouse.
It makes sense that in this kind of situation, you may not know each other's current address or contact information. But you may still be able to discover the necessary information needed to serve your spouse by mail or in person. If you're unsure where your spouse is located, please contact us to help you determine whether you meet the requirements necessary to qualify for "service by publication" or "service by posting." In order to determine which option is right for you, and whether or not you even need to request one of these methods of service, please contact us to speak with one of our divorce attorneys.
Please note that this blog is intended for information purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice or further assistance, please contact our offices to schedule a free initial consultation.