It may take two to tango, but it only takes one to waltz out of marriage in the state of California. If your spouse is absent and unable to be located, you are still able to file and receive a divorce without the absentee spouse’s presence, or permission. However, it is important to follow all the correct steps to ensure the process is complete.
Fill out the Divorce Form
To start the process of a divorce you must complete two forms:
The Petition (Form FL-100), you list information about your marriage listing dates, children, property, and debts.
The Summons (Form FL-110) that mandates your spouse’s response and informs them what will happen if no response is given within 30 days.
There may be other forms to fill out, depending on your location, so be sure to ask the family law court clerk to have everything completed.
Service of Process
This is where a spouse is informed by a personal official notice that they are party to a lawsuit. However, in the case that you cannot locate your spouse, this may not be possible so the next step is unique and is known as, Divorce by publication. This only occurs after a judge is 100% convinced that based on your sworn declaration, and of the inability to find the Defendant after many proven efforts, this is the only option left. However, you must conduct a “diligent search” before the Service by Publication.
A careful search includes many different actions to contact the dependent such as:
Searching directories both online and in phone books for where they may live.
Using a private investigator
Asking friends, family, and other relatives where they may be living or located
Asking the post office for information on possible forwarding address
Checking records with taxes to see if your spouse owns property
Getting in touch with previous employers or landlords
Submit Affidavit of Diligent Search
After this search, you must file a form for the court to show all the effort and avenues that were exhausted looking for your spouse and that you did your due diligence to locate them with no result.
Copyright © 2019 TDC FAMILY LAW All Rights Reserved.
1210 SOUTH BASCOM AVENUE, SUITE 224
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA 95128-3535
TEL: 408-267-8484/FAX: 408-267-8489
Santa Clara County/San Mateo County San Jose, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Palo Alto, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Redwood City
DIVORCE/CHILD CUSTODY/CHILD VISITATION/CHILD SUPPORT/SPOUSAL SUPPORT/PERSONAL PROPERTY AND REAL PROPERTY DIVISION/CONTEMPT/MODIFICATIONS/DCSS/COURT APPEARANCES/PRIVATE SETTLEMENT JUDGE/EX PARTE MOTIONS/DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/RESTRAINING ORDERS/BUSINESS MATTERS/CONSULTING ATTORNEY IN MEDIATION/ REGISTERED DOMESTIC PARTNERS (RDP) AND SAME SEX MARRIAGES