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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 111604
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I was married in las vegas in 2003. I have been separated

Customer Question

I was married in las vegas in 2003. I have been separated from my spouse for over ten years. We never filed our marriage license in Wisconsin. I cannot locate her. how do I file for divorce
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If you married in NV, you did not have to file your license in WI for it to be a valid marriage. If you cannot locate her this complicates your issue, because you will have to serve her in some manner. First, you can file for divorce still in WI, all you need is the copy of your NV marriage license.
You would file a petition for divorce, but you would need to get a private investigator to locate her or try to locate her by other means. If you cannot locate her and have proof you exhausted all reasonable means to do so, then you file proof of that with a motion for service by publication (which is where you put it in a local newspaper in the city where you last knew her to reside for 3 weeks) with the court and the court will grant an order. Once the publication time is done, then if she does not answer the divorce you can file a motion for divorce by default and get the divorce granted.
This is a bit more than a simple uncontested divorce, so generally it is best to use a local attorney to file it so you can get it done right the first time, especially the service by publication, which can be tricky.