Help, my spouse is missing!

You may be wondering how to file for a divorce or other family law action when you don’t know where the respondent is. Sometimes the court allows litigants to serve documents other than by personal service (e.g. service by posting or publication).

However, before the court will allow this, you will have to prove that you have tried your hardest to find him/her. Also, sometimes it will be helpful to the action to actually find your ex-partner so that you can enforce court orders such as child or spousal support.

Tips for Finding a Missing Spouse/Partner in Order to Serve Him/Her:
• Search social networking sites: I can’t tell you how many times we have done a Facebook search and found a former partner. Sometimes locations are listed or you can email/ message a missing person. Sometimes there are photo’s of places s/he frequents that you (or a registered process server) can track down.
• Send a letter to your spouse’s last address: Ensure to write “return service requested, do not forward. If they filed a change of address form with the USPS, you will get the letter back with a new address.

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