My Spouse Left Me And Moved To Another State And I Have Been Unable To Locate Them. Can I Still Get A Divorce In Florida?
I’m sorry to hear that. Yes, fortunately you can still get a divorce
if your spouse is not able to be located. If Florida didn’t have
such laws, it could place people in legal limbo until they were able to
locate their spouse to serve divorce papers.
By law, a person who is being sued must get notice of a lawsuit, so he or she can defend against it. This normally involves sheriff or a private process server handing the defendant a copy of the papers. A divorce is a type of lawsuit, and the defendant must have notice.
If the defendant cannot be found, you can ask the Florida divorce court for permission to use something called “constructive service”. This involves publishing notice of the divorce in a newspaper that is approved by the court once a week for four weeks. Not everyone can use constructive service. To be able to use constructive service, you must show that you conducted a diligent search for your spouse. You will fill out an affidavit provided by the court, and you must tell the court exactly how you tried to find you spouse. Once you have finished looking for your spouse, you can file the affidavit.
You may be able to get the divorce without your spouse being present, but it may be difficult to be awarded child support or alimony. Issues of property division may be difficult too if your spouse is not present.