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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35751
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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I have been separated for about 13 plus years and my wife at

Resolved Question:

I have been separated for about 13 plus years and my wife at that time had filed a dissolution of marriage on January 18, 1999 but I could not be found and served; Then I filed a dissolution of marriage on April 21, 2000 and she could not be served with the papers to finalize the dissolution, because to the best of my knowledge I believe she has left the country and is no where in the United States. The question is: Both you and her have filed for the dissolution, however; The Dissolution of marriage was not made final how do I go about getting this finalized after 13 plus years of Separation?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm sorry to hear of the situation.

Almost certainly, the divorce action she filed 13 years ago has been dismissed by the court for failure to prosecute the action.

It is a relatively simple matter to finalize your divorce---even if you can not find her. You must file a divorce proceeding, and then, in good faith, attempt to locate her. When you are unable to do so, you will file a morion with the court to publish the summons. The motion will state the steps you took to try and locate her, it will assert that you have been unsuccessful and you want the court to order that you may publish the summons in a local newspaper.

When the court approves the motion, you will take the order and the summons to the local newspaper office and they will---for a fee--publish the summons once each week for a month and then 30 days after the last publication date the summons is deemed served and you may thereafter take a default against your spouse and the court will award you the divorce.

You can probably have a local attorney do this for you quite inexpensively---as all that will be needed is the divorce complaint and the motion. She won't be answering the complaint and you will get a default divorce decree.

I hope you found my answer informative, even if the law is not necessarily in your favor. I wish you the best in 2012.

Doug
LawTalk and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
You must file a divorce proceeding, and then, in good faith, attempt to locate her. When you are unable to do so, you will file a morion with the court to publish the summons. - WHAT'S A morion with the court to publish the summons?
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
A motion is a Pleading---a document that you---or preferably your attorney--- prepares and files with the court clerk.

This particular Pleading tells the court that you can not locate your spouse to serve her with the divorce lawsuit. The law will forgive your inability to find her and allow you to serve the summons in a different manner---by having it posted in a local newspaper for all to read---including your spouse. Even if she doesn't see it in the paper, you will then have served the lawsuit, and you will be able to get your divorce decree.

I hope you found my answer informative, even if the law is not necessarily in your favor. I wish you the best in 2012.

Doug