The heading reads: “Man Got Divorced Without Ever Telling His Wife, Police Say”. (https://www.wmur.com/article/man-got-divorced-without-ever-telling-his-wife-police-say/29101534). That title holds a lot of information. Just reading the first part of the title, makes it seem that a person can effectively pull off getting a divorce without notifying the spouse. However, there’s more to this story, as there usually is. In this case, there was criminal behavior involved. Getting a divorce without notifying the spouse is a highly unlikely scenario. In this case, it was based upon criminal activity. Not only did this gentleman forge his wife’s name, but he forged a notary’s signature. You won’t see this very often in the Court. You can also see from the article that the Court vacated the judgement of divorce. The wife will likely have various arguments related to the husband’s crimes in the upcoming divorce matter as a result of her husband’s alleged criminal activities.
How to Divorce an Absent Spouse
Notice by Publication
That being said, this article brings to light a very real situation that does take place regularly. What happens if you want a divorce but cannot locate your spouse? Perhaps you were married and then after you separated, your spouse moved. Maybe he or she just walked out and left, with no details? If you don’t know where to locate your spouse, how do you get a divorce? There are definitely ways to obtain a divorce even if you don’t know where your spouse has gone. After an adequate search, you can ask the Court to publish notice to your husband by “publication” (an article in the newspaper).
Divorce by Default
There’s also the situation where you want a divorce, but your spouse won’t answer to the Court. You’ve served the documents but she simply refuses to respond or attend court proceedings. Can she stop the process by refusing to attend a hearing? Can he force you to remain married by sticking his head in the sand? Absolutely not. At some point, when your spouse fails to appear, provided that you have adequately notified him/her, you can ask the Court to issue a default and then proceed to judgment.
As you can see, getting a divorce without notifying the spouse doesn’t really take place unless there is some type of criminal behavior. Whether you use the notice by publication or seek a motion by the court for default judgement, either process is frustrating, but the fact remains that you CAN get a divorce even when the other party is absent or difficult. The good news is that you do not need to do this alone. We can help you through the process, from beginning to end. If you need assistance with your divorce, please contact me HERE