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What if my spouse cannot be found or evades service of the divorce papers?

Posted by Michael G. Butash | Aug 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

What if my spouse cannot be found or evades service of the divorce papers?

If your spouse can't be found, then there's a process that you have to go through. First, you have to exhaust all avenues of trying to serve the person. You would have to at the end of it, there's a checklist of everything that you have to do to try and reach the person and serve them. You have to fill out an Affidavit of Diligent Search. Once you complete that, you attach it to a Motion for Constructive Service. You go in front of the court and ask for permission to serve constructively, which is service through publication. Assuming that's granted, you're allowed to advertise in approved magazines or newspapers to try and serve the person for several days. Then, you wait the 20-day period, and then if they don't respond, you can get them defaulted usually.

About the Author

Michael G. Butash

Michael G. Butash Stetson University College of Law Florida State University Former State Prosecutor Mike grew up in the Tampa Bay area and graduated from Stetson University College of Law in 1997. He was immediately hired as an Assistant State Attorney for the 6th Judicial Circuit (Pinellas/...


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