When it comes to seeking a divorce from a spouse that is missing and you are not sure about their location or if they are even still living, there are some massive challenges that you are going to face, as part of the process. The very first step to getting a divorce, while your spouse is missing is to attempt to locate the spouse. Typically, this is done through a publication in the local newspaper. This process is known as Motion for Divorce Through Publication. If your spouse does respond to the motion, it goes through a litigation process like any standard divorce. If there is no response, you can file a motion with the court for a default judgment. Now, with a default judgment, it does not mean that it is uncontested. You still had to file in court for the divorce, so they did have an opportunity to respond to the divorce. 

If Your Motion Is Denied


If your spouse does not respond to the attempt to contact them for divorce and you have filed a motion for divorce, the court reviews the information and makes a decision. If your motion is denied, the best course of action to take is to attempt to find the reason for the denial and correct it at the earliest opportunity. It may be something as simple as having filled out some paperwork wrong or as complex as the judge feeling that you did not do enough to locate your spouse. Depending on the reason for the denial, it is in your best interest to see what else you may need to do and resolve the issues as soon as possible.


When Your Motion is Approved


Once your motion is approved, you will be able to file your publication. In most cases, the judge will go over what you need to include in your publication. If that information is not provided to you, it is in your best interest to ask the court so everything is done properly. Now, it is important to keep in mind that some states do have very specific guidelines for your publication. In New Mexico, an affidavit is required in order to schedule the divorce hearing. Once that has been obtained and has been presented to the courts, a divorce hearing can be scheduled. Now, the other vital thing to keep in mind is that it is not technically an uncontested divorce, because you still have to file a motion through the courts. 


Typical Costs for A Divorce When You Cannot Locate Your Spouse


When it comes to the costs you see when it comes to divorce when your spouse is unable to be located, there are a variety of things that can come up for you to file the divorce. The average cost for divorce, without any issues such as custody, alimony, or property division is 10,400 in the state of New Mexico. Obviously, it does change based on specific circumstances that are unique to your case but that is a good basis to start with. Now, since it would be a divorce without your spouse involved, after all the attempts to locate the spouse is exhausted and no response has been received it is possible that it is going to be less, depending on what processes you need to go through with the courts. Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that a divorce with a missing spouse is possible for you to receive. It is all just a matter of filing the correct paperwork and getting the right consults in place. That is all information that your attorney if you did decide to pursue an attorney would be able to go into detail with you about.

Anthony Spratley
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Experienced Divorce, Child Custody, and Guardianship Lawyer Serving Albuquerque and Beyond