431 Williamsburg Avenue
Geneva, IL 60134


Can I Get Divorced If I Don't Know Where My Spouse Is?

 Posted on June 09, 2023 in Divorce

Geneva Divorce LawyerIn a typical divorce case, the person who initiates the divorce, called the petitioner, serves the divorce petition and summons to the other spouse. The other spouse has the opportunity to participate in the divorce process and have his or her opinion heard regarding property division, child custody, and other divorce issues.

But what happens if you want to get divorced and you cannot find your spouse? Will you be forced to stay married? Fortunately, Illinois law has provisions addressing this challenging situation. You will still be able to get divorced even if you cannot locate your spouse and serve them divorce paperwork, but doing so may be complicated.

Divorce By Publication in Illinois

The term “serving” refers to the act of providing the divorce petition and summons to the other spouse. In some divorce cases, the petitioner simply hands the other spouse the divorce paperwork. In other cases, divorce paperwork is served by a process server or sheriff. However, in order to serve divorce paperwork to the other spouse, you must know where he or she is.

Divorce by publication is an alternative option for serving the divorce petition to a spouse. In a divorce by publication, you publish notice of the impending divorce in the newspaper.

The notice will include the name of your spouse, the fact that you have filed A Petition For Dissolution Of Marriage, the city and county in which your case is filed, and the date of default. The date of default is the date on which the divorce will proceed without the other spouse’s participation.

Divorce by publication is considered a last resort. The court will only allow you to pursue this option if you have done everything reasonably possible to find your spouse. You must submit an affidavit promising that you have made a good-faith attempt to locate the missing spouse and serve the divorce petition via the traditional routes.

If your spouse does not respond to the newspaper publication or attempt to participate in the divorce, you may be granted a default judgment. Essentially, a default judgment means that the court grants you the divorce outcome you asked for. You will be the sole determiner of property division, child custody, and other divorce issues.

Contact Our Kane County Divorce Lawyers

If you wish to end your marriage and you cannot locate your other spouse, our skilled Geneva divorce attorneys can help. We understand that this is a very complicated and frustrating situation and we will do everything possible to help make the process easier. Call our team today at 630-844-8781 for a confidential consultation. Our staff includes both English and Spanish speakers.




Share this post:
Illinois state bar association kane county bar association dupage county bar association dekalb bar association
Back to Top