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Help! I Cannot Find My Spouse and I Want a Divorce

Posted on in Illinois Divorce

IL divorce lawyerGetting a divorce is never easy, but when a spouse refuses to cooperate, it is especially difficult. In some cases, spouses actively hide in order to avoid divorce proceedings. If you cannot find your spouse and you want to divorce, take heart in knowing that your spouse cannot delay the divorce forever. It is possible to get divorced without your spouse’s participation, however, the process is a bit more complicated. A divorce lawyer can be a huge help in a situation like this.

What to Do If Your Spouse Cannot Be Located

When someone files for divorce in Illinois, they use a document called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The spouse who files for divorce is the petitioner and the other spouse is the respondent. The divorce petition is “served” or delivered to the other spouse by the petitioner or by a sheriff or private process server. The respondent must respond to the petition within 30 days of receiving it.

Some spouses try to avoid getting divorced by not responding to the petition or even by hiding where a process server cannot find them. Others spouses move out of state or even out of the country and do not tell the other spouse where they are. This can make the process of serving the petition nearly impossible.

If you cannot find your spouse, try checking in with friends, family members, and employers. Check your spouse’s last known address or workplace. You may also be able to use social media to find your spouse. If all else fails and you cannot locate your spouse to serve him or her divorce papers, you can still require a divorce through publication.

Serving a Spouse by Publication in Illinois

Serving by publication is considered a last resort. Before you can divorce by publication, you will need to demonstrate to a judge that you have made a good faith effort to find your spouse and serve divorce papers through the traditional route.

Divorce by publication involves publishing notice of the divorce petition in the newspaper in the county where the divorce is taking place. If that county does not have a newspaper, the notice may be filed in a neighboring county’s newspaper. The notice must contain the names of the spouses, the case number, and the default date. If the spouse does not respond, you may be granted a default judgment.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

Your spouse cannot prevent you from getting divorced by hiding from you. If you want to seek a divorce by publication, contact the Kane County divorce attorneys at Weiler & Lengle P.C. for help. Call 630-382-8050 for a confidential consultation.



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