Divorce by Publication in Brooklyn
Effective Measures Free Abandoned Spouses
It is a basic principle of fairness in our legal system that every accused person has a right to confront his or her accuser and any witnesses against him or her. You cannot take legal action against someone behind his or her back, even for divorce. However, the law has exceptions for people who deliberately make themselves hard to find. If you don't know where your spouse is, and you want to get on with your life, our Brooklyn divorce lawyers at Coffinas & Lusthaus, P.C. can help you by facilitating your divorce by publication. For almost 30 years, we have capably assisted abandoned spouses in obtaining default judgments against absent spouses that they cannot locate in order to finally set them free.
Your Rights & Your Duty to Perform Due Diligence
According to New York divorce requirements, when you file for divorce, you have a duty to serve the necessary pleadings to your spouse. Plaintiffs usually accomplish this with the help of a process server. But, if you have no address for your spouse, no phone number, no place of employment, and no relative of your spouse to contact, how can you effect process? The law allows you to make a motion to the court to order service by something called “publication”. In your motion, you must demonstrate that due diligence has yielded no results, meaning you or a private investigator have:
- Checked phone listings in the area of your spouse's last known address
- Inquired with friends, relatives, or former employers of your missing spouse
- Inquired at the post office for a forwarding address
- Contacted the DMV to see if there are any registration records, and the military to see if they are enlisted
- Pursued other reasonable avenues of investigation, which these days may include Internet and social media searches
Coffinas & Lusthaus, P.C. assists in your investigation, carefully documenting all efforts to support your motion.
Our Divorce Attorneys Help You Through the Process
If your search has come up empty, we can file a Notice of Motion for Alternative Service, asking the court to order Service by Publication. If the court agrees, the judge will order you to publish a summons in a specific newspaper starting within 30 days, and appearing once a week for three weeks. If your missing spouse does not respond within 30 days of the notice, the court will consider your spouse in default and will schedule a hearing to finalize the action.