While the divorce process may present challenges under normal circumstances, an absent spouse can make the process more difficult. Luckily, there are steps you can take to handle this scenario with legal help. This will help your divorce go as smoothly as possible, even with the strange circumstances.
At Bineham and Gillen, we take pride in serving San Antonio families for over 30 years. Here are steps that we suggest taking to help your divorce process:
1. Collecting Records
Whenever you’re divorcing someone who is absent, you need to prove that you have made a significant effort to be able to find them. Providing as much information as possible is key to progressing the divorce forward, largely because you can’t serve them papers.
The Court may try to find the person themselves to try to serve them papers. This will make your divorce move a lot faster if they are able to find them, so you should collect:
- The last time that you have seen your spouse
- Their last known address
- Their last known job
- Family information
- Friend information
All these will provide the court with its own system to be able to perform its own investigation, and it will also prove that you have done work to find your spouse.
2. Serving the Papers
In the majority of divorces, serving the papers means presenting the documents to your spouse for them to sign. The spouse can then reject through a contested divorce where the court will then decide if you can proceed with the divorce. However, an international divorce with a missing spouse needs to go through different means of serving.
The United States legal system allows for international divorces to be served through posting. First, you need to contact the embassy where your spouse may be located to check for any additional documentation. Then, you can appeal for a judge to allow you to serve your divorce through a posting. The court would then post a notice of the divorce in the newspaper, and given an adequate amount of time, the divorce will proceed.
3. Responding And Moving Forward
Once you’ve posted the divorce in the newspaper and time has passed, the court will allow you to proceed. Regardless of whether your spouse has specifically seen or responded to the ad, you can move along in the serving process. The only condition is that they had to have an ample amount of time to be able to respond to the publication. Then, your serving process is over, and you can begin with the next steps in your divorce.
What Should I Do Next?
Dealing with a contested divorce can be difficult to deal with on your own. We here at Bineham and Gillen want to make your process as painless as possible. With over 30 years of serving the San Antonio community in family law, we know how to advocate for your best interest at an affordable cost. That’s why you can turn to us to help you through the divorce process. If you’re ready to take the next steps, contact us today!