It may sound strange, but wanting to divorce a missing spouse is not uncommon. Typically, when a person wants to divorce a missing spouse, it’s because that spouse was abandoned by his/her partner. In Kansas, in a typical divorce, both spouses need to be present to negotiate the terms of the divorce and legally end the marriage.
However, if you cannot find your spouse, you may be wondering, “How can I get divorced?” Fortunately, there are legal options available, which we’ll describe below. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a divorce and cannot find your spouse, call Kansas low-cost uncontested divorce attorney Randall J. Wharton. For a free consultation, call my Topeka law office today at (785) 845-5016.
Divorce By Publication in Kansas
When one partner wants a divorce and cannot find his/her spouse, then a Divorce by Publication is often the best solution for moving forward. This type of divorce can be granted after the judge receives a sworn statement that the filing party cannot find his/her spouse after a “diligent search” (following certain requirements). The laws for divorce by publication are found in the Kansas Rules of Civil Procedure, 60-307, Service by Publication.
Search Requirements in Kansas
The first step is to conduct a thorough and diligent search for your spouse. Remember, you need to prove to the court that your spouse is truly missing and unable to be located. The search, for the most part, requires a good faith effort. According to the Rules of Civil Procedure, service by publication is acceptable “. . . if the defendant resides out of the state or if the party with due diligence is unable to make service of summons upon the defendant within the state.”
Due diligence, in this sense, may include checking some (or all) of the following:
- Your spouse’s last known location, whether by mail or in person
- Your spouse’s last known job, if any
- Your spouse’s family members
- Local hospitals and homeless shelters
Make sure that you document all of your search strategies. If an individual doesn’t give you any information, include this in your records.
Filing a Divorce By Publication
After conducting a diligent search for the spouse and not finding him/her, then a divorce by publication may be your only option. In this case, the petitioner needs to file an affidavit saying that he/she exhausted every option and still couldn’t find the spouse. A notice is then published once a week for the next three weeks. According to the Kansas Rules of Civil Procedure, the notice should be published in the petitioner’s county. You will use a newspaper specifically designated for publishing legal notices.
Within seven days of the first publication, the petitioner needs to “mail a copy of the publication notice to each defendant whose address is stated in the affidavit for service by publication.”
You can then file a document with the court showing the dates that the newspaper was published; you also need to show the notice.
Contact Low-Cost Divorce Attorney Randall Wharton Today
Not being able to locate your spouse can make the divorce process a little more complicated, but a divorce by publication can still be a straightforward process. Furthermore, for far less than you might think, you can acquire leading legal representation to help you through this process. With years of experience helping people with uncontested divorces, divorce lawyer Randall J. Wharton provides what he believes to be the lowest cost divorces in the state. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call him today at (785) 845-5016.