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What if I Want a Divorce, But Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?

It is fairly common people to lose track of a spouse after separation. This, however, adds some complications to an ensuing divorce. Fortunately, divorce is still possible even if the other spouse is difficult to locate.

The following a brief overview of some of the steps you will need to take:

  • Order of notice by publication: If the standard process for serving divorce papers either fails due to a lack of response or is not possible due to an inability to locate the spouse, the first step you can take is an Order of Notice by Publication. The notice runs in a newspaper or publication in the area the spouse was last deemed to be living, and the advertisement remains for up to three weeks to give the other spouse an opportunity to get in touch.
  • Affidavit of Service: If the other spouse still cannot be contacted, an affidavit of service proves the newspaper notice took place.
  • No response to publication: If there is no response to the Order of Notice, you can proceed by finalizing the divorce by default judgment. Your attorney represents you and explains your needs and wants for issues such as asset division, child custody and spousal support. Judges make their decision without the other spouse present when this process occurs by default.
  • Private investigators: In some cases, private investigators may be considered to track down the spouse and ensure they’re available to meet their responsibilities regarding spousal support, child support and asset division.

To learn more about how to best proceed with a divorce, speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

Our Attorneys
Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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