Sometimes moving out means moving away. And sometimes moving away happens without a forwarding address. People often mistakenly believe that if they can not find their spouse they can not get a divorce from them.
In order to obtain a full and final decree of divorce you will need to demonstrate to the court that you perfected service upon your spouse. You will need to prove that you physically presented your spouse with a copy of the complaint requesting a divorce. When you do not know where your spouse resides this can seem impossible.
Service by Publication
If the residence of your spouse is unknown, you may perfect service by publication. In the State of Ohio, you will need to swear under oath in a written affidavit, “that service of summons cannot be made because the residence of the defendant is unknown to the affiant, all of the efforts made on behalf of the party to ascertain the residence of the defendant, and that the residence of the defendant cannot be ascertained with reasonable diligence.” Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 4.4. Simply put, if you can demonstrate that you have looked for your spouse and are unable to find them, service by publication will be an acceptable means of perfecting service to obtain a divorce.
The legal maneuvers discussed in this article are complex. If you find yourself in this predicament, you will need legal counsel to guide you through the process. Contact my office for a free consultation to discuss if you may be able to obtain a divorce from your missing spouse.