What If I Can’t Find My Spouse?


In cases where you are filing a divorce complaint, you should always have the address of your spouse on the divorce papers.  The Clerk of Courts must have the address to serve papers upon the spouse if no waiver of service has been signed by the spouse, or even in cases where the spouse has signed a waiver of service, the clerk must send a notice of the final divorce hearing.

If you have no address and are unable to locate your spouse, then notice of the divorce complaint must be by publication in a newspaper. Attorney Ruskan prepares:

  • The Motion requesting approval by the judge that there be notice by publication.
  • The Affidavit which accompanies the Motion in which you state all your best efforts to locate your spouse and that you are unable to locate.
  • The Entry which is signed by the judge approving notice by publication.
  • The Legal Notice which runs in the newspaper.


After the judge approves notice by publication, the Legal Notice is run for 6 weeks (once per week) in a newspaper in your county.  Find the newspaper with the most reasonable rates.  You will pay the newspaper whatever is their cost to run the notice.  After it has run for 6 weeks, they will give you a sworn statement that the notice has run for 6 weeks and you will file that statement with the clerk of courts. (A few counties have already picked out the newspaper.)

If you do not want the additional expense of preparing a Notice By Publication and having it run in a newspaper for six weeks, try to find a valid address for your spouse through a friend or family member.

Written by ronruskan