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Can I Still Get a Divorce If I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?

Overcoming Divorce Roadblocks: How to Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse

Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, made even more complicated when one spouse is missing and cannot be located to serve with divorce papers. If you find yourself in this situation, you may wonder, “Can I still get a divorce if I don’t know where my spouse is to serve with papers?” The answer is yes, but the process can be more complicated. Seeking legal guidance from a trusted source is crucial in this situation. 

Snader Law Group, a seasoned Phoenix family law attorney, can help guide you through the legal process and answer any questions you may have. They offer a free consultation to help you determine your options and take the first step toward resolving your divorce. Call them today and schedule an appointment.

Who Can File a Divorce in Arizona?

In Arizona, either spouse may file for divorce. The spouse who files the divorce is called the “Petitioner,” while the other spouse is called the “Respondent.”

To file for divorce in Arizona, at least one spouse must have been a resident of Arizona for at least 90 days before filing. The divorce petition must be filed in the county where either spouse resides.

In addition, there are certain requirements that must be met before a divorce can be granted. For example, the Petitioner must notify the Respondent of the divorce proceedings. The parties must reach an agreement on important issues such as child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, and the division of property and debts.

If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on these issues, the court may hold hearings and make decisions regarding these matters. It is recommended that parties seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to guide them through the divorce process and ensure that their rights and interests are protected.

Arizona is a No-Fault State. What Does This Mean?

In Arizona, being a “no-fault” state means that a spouse does not need to prove that the other spouse did something wrong or was at fault in order to file for divorce. Instead, a spouse only needs to claim that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” and that there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation. This means that a spouse can file for divorce even if the other spouse does not want to get divorced, and it also means that the court does not need to assign blame or fault to either spouse for the breakdown of the marriage.

In a no-fault divorce, the court will focus on resolving practical issues related to the divorce, such as property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The court will also ensure that the divorce settlement is fair and equitable for both spouses.

Overall, the no-fault divorce system in Arizona allows for a more streamlined and less contentious divorce process, and can often help both spouses move on from the marriage with less emotional turmoil and legal fees.

Can I Still Get a Divorce in Phoenix, AZ When I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?

Yes, obtaining a divorce in Arizona is possible, even if you do not know where your spouse is. However, the court will not be able to order support or divide any marital property unless your spouse has been properly served with notice of the divorce.

If you cannot locate your spouse, the following steps may be taken to proceed with the divorce:

  1. Reasonable search: You must first make a reasonable effort to locate your spouse. This may include searching public records, contacting relatives and friends, and utilizing social media platforms.
  2. Service by publication: If you are unable to locate your spouse, you may be able to obtain permission from the court to serve them by publishing a notice of the divorce in a newspaper. This notice must be published once a week for four consecutive weeks.
  3. Waiting period: After the notice has been published, you must wait a certain amount of time before proceeding with the divorce. In Arizona, this waiting period is 60 days after the last date of publication.
  4. Default judgment: If your spouse does not respond within the waiting period, you may be able to obtain a default judgment in your favor. However, as previously mentioned, the court will not be able to order support or divide marital property in your favor unless your spouse has been properly served.

It is recommended that you seek the advice of a qualified family law attorney to guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. They can help you understand the requirements for serving notice by publication and can assist you in making sure that all necessary steps are taken to ensure that your divorce is handled fairly and legally.

Do I Need a Family Law Attorney for My Divorce in Phoenix, Arizona?

It is possible to file for divorce without an attorney in Arizona. However, it is important to keep in mind that the legal process of divorce can be complex, and there are many legal issues that may arise that you may not be familiar with.

Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about filing for divorce without an attorney in Arizona:

  • Understanding of Arizona Divorce Laws: A family law attorney in Arizona will have a thorough understanding of the state’s divorce laws and can provide guidance on issues such as property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support.
  • Objective Legal Advice: Going through a divorce can be an emotional and stressful time, and having an objective legal professional by your side can help you make informed decisions and avoid making mistakes that could impact your future.
  • Help with Paperwork: Filing for divorce in Arizona requires a significant amount of paperwork, and a family law attorney can help ensure that all necessary forms are completed correctly and submitted on time.
  • Negotiation and Mediation: If you and your spouse are able to negotiate a settlement agreement outside of court, a family law attorney can help facilitate the negotiation process and ensure that the agreement is fair and legally binding.
  • Representation in Court: If your divorce case goes to court, a family law attorney can represent you and advocate for your interests in front of a judge.

Hiring a family law attorney for your divorce in Arizona can provide peace of mind and help ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process.

Seek Help From an Arizona Family Law Attorney at Snader Law Group

Not knowing the whereabouts of your spouse can make the divorce process more complicated, but it does not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a divorce. By taking the necessary steps to attempt to locate your spouse and working with an experienced family law attorney, you can navigate the legal process and protect your rights. 

If you are facing divorce, child custody or child support issues, spousal maintenance, or other family law matters, or if you are facing criminal charges such as sex crimes, domestic violence, violent crimes, drug crimes, theft and property crimes, endangerment, probation violations, or white collar crimes, Snader Law Group can help. Contact us today for a free consultation and experienced legal representation.

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