You and your spouse may have separated some time ago, or your estrangement may be more recent. Either way, you might be ready for divorce but have no clue where to find them. If you do not know your spouse’s location, you will likely fear you cannot dissolve your union. But you can still do so thanks to the publication divorce mechanism.

Understanding the search process

Publication divorce can prove effective when you do not know your spouse’s whereabouts. The process involves a diligent search on your part to determine your spouse’s location. Your search will rely on information from federal and local agencies, including:

  • The United States Military
  • The United States Postal Service
  • New York City’s Board of Elections
  • New York State’s Department of Motor Vehicles
  • New York City’s telephone directory

Besides these sources, you must also visit your spouse’s last known address. And you will also need look up your spouse using internet search sites that may provide information on their location.

Serving your order

If you cannot track your spouse down through agencies or searches, you will then file an affidavit that attests to your inability to find them. Once you do so, you will submit it, along with the results of your search and your divorce summons, to the New York Supreme Court’s Ex Parte Office. A judge will then review these documents, which make up your Order of Publication.

If the judge approves and signs your Order of Publication, you can serve it to your spouse through the New York Law Journal. This notice will run once a week for three consecutive weeks. If your spouse fails to respond during this period, you must obtain a sworn statement from the newspaper’s clerk. This will attest to the publication of your summons. Once the statement receives notarization, you can take the necessary steps to continue and complete your divorce.

Publication divorce can prove a costly and time-consuming process. But you do not have to go through it alone. An attorney with family law experience can help you work through its complexities.