divorce from missing spouseThis sounds like something from a TV show but it does happen. Sometimes, people voluntarily run away and leave their spouse behind. It is a natural desire to want to move on with life if this has happened to you. You will eventually want to date new people and you do not want the marriage question to be hanging over your new relationship.

So what will happen when you file for divorce and your spouse is absent? Basically the best advice is to try your best to find your spouse. Check with her/his friends, social media and family. Some people even hire a private detective because they have trained skills in finding people.

If you absolutely cannot find them, you may still file for a divorce. Since there are many factors that go into this type of situation it is best to consult with an attorney to make sure you are handling it correctly.

After an exhaustive search (“due diligence”) has been done correctly and well documented, you and your attorney can file for a divorce from the absent spouse. There is a certain amount of days that must pass for each stage of this type of divorce. It is important to stay the course and not get frustrated and give up.

If your spouse reappears during this time, you can have the court serve him/her the papers and this will help move the process along much more rapidly.

For more information see Florida’s constructive service statute.

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