Types of divorces
There are two types of divorces, contested and uncontested. If you don’t know where your spouse lives or your spouse won’t sign uncontested divorce paperwork, you will have to file a contested divorce.
Notice to the Defendant
If you do not know where your spouse lives, you have to file a contested divorce. This divorce process starts by filing a complaint for divorce with the circuit court. Your spouse has to be served with a copy of the complaint for divorce. Being “served” is just a fancy way of saying that either the sheriff has to give your spouse a copy of the divorce complaint or a private process server has to give him a copy.
If you do not know where your spouse lives, then obviously he cannot be served by a sheriff or private process server. Therefore, your attorney will have to make a motion to have him served by publication. This consists of an ad being placed in the newspaper informing your spouse of the divorce case and what your spouse has to do to respond to the divorce case. The classified add also states what will happen if your does not respond to the divorce case.
You cannot get a divorce by just using the newspaper. Publication in the classified ads of your divorce only serves to notify your spouse that a divorce action has been commence in court.
First, a complaint for divorce is filed with the court. The complaint is served on the defendant or the notice is published in the newspaper. Your divorce case is set for trial. Evidence is presented to the judge. As part of the evidence, you have to testify that you did not know where your spouse is located, and you cannot reasonably determine his location. After all the evidence is presented, the judge grants your divorce.