If you want a divorce but you have been estranged and you don’t know
how to locate your spouse, Divorce by Publication is your answer, and
we can help!
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 more than 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:
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
A search will also be made to:
- Telephone Directories
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, than 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 ask the judge to request 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 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 30 days after the judge has signed the
order. The order often specifies 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 three times, once a week, for three
If, after 30 days 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 unless 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 trying to locate your missing spouse 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 more than 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 at 212.734.1551.
I look forward to speaking with you!
New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner and her team are available to help
you with your Divorce by Publication!
Please call to schedule your FREE consultation right now.