In the past, it was possible to divorce someone through the newspaper in some states in the US. This process, known as “divorce by publication,” was an alternative for those who could not locate their spouse or if their spouse refused to participate in the divorce process.
However, with the development of technology and easier ways to find people, this practice has become outdated and rarely used. In this article, we’ll discuss what divorce by publication is, how it works, and if it’s still a valid option in today’s world.
What is Divorce by Publication?
Divorce by publication is a legal process of notifying a spouse about the divorce by publishing a notice in a newspaper. This method is used when the location of the spouse is unknown, and attempts to serve them through regular channels, such as mail or in-person, have failed.
How Does Divorce by Publication Work?
The process of divorce by publication involves several steps. First, the filing spouse must prove to the court that they have made every effort to locate their spouse. This includes sending certified letters to their last known address, contacting their friends and family, and hiring a private investigator.
Once the court is satisfied that the filing spouse has made every effort to locate their spouse, they will allow the divorce by publication process to begin.
The filing spouse will then need to place a notice in a local newspaper where their spouse was last known to reside. The notice must run for a specific amount of time, usually a few weeks, and contain specific information about the divorce, such as the name of the filing spouse, the date of marriage, and the grounds for divorce.
After the notice has run for the required amount of time, the filing spouse must file proof of publication with the court. This will include an affidavit from the newspaper stating that the notice was published as required. If the court is satisfied with the proof of publication, they will proceed with the divorce process.
Is Divorce by Publication Still a Valid Option?
Divorce by publication was a valid option in the past when it was difficult to locate someone. However, with the rise of internet and social media, it’s much easier to find someone today. This has made divorce by publication an outdated practice that is rarely used.
Today, if someone cannot locate their spouse, they may be able to use social media or a private investigator to help locate them.
Additionally, most states require that the filing spouse make every effort to locate their spouse before resorting to divorce by publication. This includes hiring a private investigator, contacting friends and family, and searching public records.
If the filing spouse cannot locate their spouse after making every effort, they may be able to request permission from the court to use divorce by publication as a last resort.
Is divorce by publication a common practice?
No, it’s an outdated practice that is rarely used today.
Can you get a divorce without your spouse’s consent?
Yes, but you will need to prove to the court that you have made every effort to locate your spouse.
What is the cost of a divorce by publication?
The cost of a divorce by publication varies depending on the state and the publication chosen. In general, the cost of publishing a notice for a specified period of time can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Additionally, you may need to pay court fees and other associated costs, such as those related to hiring a process server or a private investigator. It’s important to factor in all of these costs when considering whether a divorce by publication is the best option for you.
Divorce by publication was a valid option in the past when it was difficult to locate someone. But given the development of social media and technology, it is now an antiquated practice that is rarely employed. If someone cannot locate their spouse, they should make every effort to do so before resorting to divorce by publication. They can use social media or a private investigator to help locate their spouse, and if they still can’t locate them, they may be able to request permission from the court to use divorce by publication as a last resort.