If you want a divorce but you and your spouse have been estranged and you
don’t know how to locate your spouse, Divorce by Publication is
In New York the legal system requires that you make every effort to find
your spouse in order to get a divorce. As a seasoned divorce attorney
and mediator for over 35 years, I, along with my divorce team have handled
hundreds of Divorce by Publication divorces. They require lots of research,
and legal, investigative expertise.
So here are some of the details on how Divorce by Publication works:
In order to receive a divorce when you cannot locate your spouse,
a “diligent effort” has to be made to “search”
for your spouse in the “jurisdiction” where your spouse was
last known to reside.
Your attorney/investigative team will arrange to:
Your spouse’s last place of residence.
Contact and obtain search reports from:
United States Postal Service;
New York County Board of Elections;
All US Military Branches;
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles;
If a person is found with your spouse’s name, an investigation must
be done to determine whether that person is your spouse. If your spouse
is found, then they can be served with an action for divorce, but if they
are not found and the search fails, then your attorney will contact the
court and request the judge to issue an Order of Publication.
For the Judge to agree to the Order of Publication your attorney must provide
a list of all the efforts made to find your spouse. Your attorney will
have to prove to the court a “diligent effort” was made to
find your spouse.
When the Order of Publication is granted, your attorney will place a legal
notice in a newspaper usually published in the county/city where your
spouse last lived. The legal notice will state you are bringing a divorce
action against your spouse. This is the legal equivalent of serving “notice”
with a “summons.”
The legal notice must be placed within the 30 days after the judge has
signed the order. The order often specifies in which newspaper to place
the notice, which is where the missing spouse is last known to have lived,
and the notice must appear in the publication 3 times, once a week, for
3 consecutive weeks.
If, after 30 days from when the third notice was published, the spouse
does not respond, your attorney can file your divorce “by default.”
This means even though you have made every effort to find your spouse,
including by legal notice, your spouse has failed to respond to your intention
to divorce. The court deems that he or she has “defaulted”
and your attorney can file your divorce papers so you can receive your
judgment of divorce.
Divorce by Publication is costly, complex and time-consuming. A judge will
not approve a Divorce by Publication until they are convinced your spouse
cannot be found. It’s important that you have a highly skilled and
experienced attorney to guide you through the intricacies of this process.
If you need help because your spouse cannot be located and you want to
implement a divorce, call me. Don’t despair! I will be happy to
speak with you about all the details of Divorce by Publication.
Having successfully served NYC for over 35 years as an experienced New
York divorce attorney and mediator, I, along with my team of experts can
help you with your Divorce by Publication.
Call me to schedule a free consultation. 212.734.1551.
FREE CONSULTATIONS are
conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.
I look forward to speaking with you!
Stay healthy and safe!
New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner is available to help you with your
Divorce by Publication!
Please call to schedule your FREE consultation now.