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 a summons for divorce, but if they
are not found and the search fails, then your attorney will contact the
court and request that the judge 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 lawyer
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 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/investigative team to guide you through the intricacies
of this process.
If you need help because your spouse cannot be located and you want to
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 have
successfully helped many spouses to divorce their spouses that could not
be located! We can help you with your Divorce by Publication.
Call me to schedule your free consultation. 212.734.1551.
FREE CONSULTATIONS are still
conveniently conducted virtually.
We look forward to helping you!
New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner is available to help you divorce
your spouse that cannot be located using the Divorce by Publication process!
Please call to schedule your FREE consultation now.