This is the next post in my series on filing for divorce in Melbourne, Florida when your spouse is outside of the country. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It is important to remember that it is still possible to file for divorce even if your spouse is currently located in another country. I also cannot stress enough that you should speak with an attorney if you or a loved one are dealing with a situation like this. In this article I will be discussing the process of filing for divorce when your spouse has left the country and their location is not known. If you are in need of assistance then contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Florida parties can serve a divorce through publication if they are unsure where their spouse is located
It is important for spouses to be aware that they can file for divorce even if their spouse is outside of the country. This is the case even if they do not know where their spouse is and their location cannot be determined. In order to do so, the spouse may serve a divorce by publication. Generally speaking, petitioners must serve defendants with process. This typically occurs by handing someone the complaint in person. However, when one spouse cannot be located, process can be served by publishing notice in a newspaper.
It should be noted that filing for divorce by publication will likely take approximately eight weeks. This is because once the notice is published, the defendant spouse must be provided with enough time to see the notice and respond to it. In Florida, the notice must be published in the newspaper for four consecutive weeks, or twenty-eight days. Once these four weeks have passed, they are given twenty days to file a response. If the defendant spouse does not respond in time, the petitioner spouse may ask the Court to enter default judgment. To do so, the petitioner spouse will attend an uncontested hearing with their counsel and explain that the defendant has failed to respond in a timely manner. The petitioner will tell the judge what they are seeking and, as long as it is legal, the judge will likely grant their request. Once the judge has signed the divorce order, the case will be closed and the couple will be divorced.
It is important to retain an experienced Florida attorney when seeking a divorce that is served by publication
The process of requesting a divorce from a spouse whose international location is unknown can be extremely complex. There are many steps that must be taken in order to ensure the case is handled properly. If any step is handled incorrectly, then you may need to start the process over from the beginning. This means it could take even longer to receive a divorce. Retaining an attorney will help ensure that your case is handled swiftly and efficiently.
Many individuals do not know how to respond when their spouse’s location is unknown. It can be even more confusing when their spouse is located in another country. Taking such matters into your own hands can be extremely overwhelming. It is crucial to retain an attorney with experience handling these situations as this can make the process far less stressful. Our Melbourne divorce lawyer understands that you may be facing a serious situation and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an initial consultation. We are looking forward to being of assistance. We also serve the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.