How to Get a Divorce in Arizona When You Cannot Find or Locate Your Spouse
Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse
Some clients ask how they can get a divorce in Arizona when you cannot find or locate your spouse. The good news is you can still get divorced in Arizona if you cannot find or locate your spouse. However, there are some steps you need to take that you would not have to take if you knew where your spouse was living. The first thing you need to do is file the initial divorce petition with the accompanying documents in the county court in which you live. You would then need to serve those divorce papers on your spouse, which you cannot do if you do not know where he or she is living. This is where the additional steps come into play.
You will need to hire a private investigator or “skip tracer” to determine if he or she can locate your spouse. If he or she is unable to locate your spouse, you need to obtain an affidavit from him or her detailing all the reasonable steps he or she took to locate your spouse. You must then file a motion with the court seeking to serve your unlocated spouse by “publication”. If granted, you will then need to publish a copy of the divorce documents in an approved newspaper for a period of time.
After the appropriate time has passed, you may then file an Application and Affidavit of default and will subsequently attend a default hearing where the court will enter a divorce decree. Although the court can enter a divorce at this default hearing, the court will be limited to many of the other issues that exist in a normal divorce.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about divorcing a spouse you cannot find in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about divorce laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.