Can I file for divorce if I cannot locate my spouse

Under the Washington state’s family law, one can successfully file for divorce and finalize it even if you cannot locate your spouse by doing some additional steps to show a best effort to inform your spouse.

The spirit of the family law is that both spouses can participate in the divorce agreement.  Sending divorce documents to your spouse i.e. serving your spouse hits this goal. However, for example if Janet’s husband Mark is missing, then Janet may have no address or way of reaching Mark.  The law considers this situation and allows Janet to take reasonable steps like put a newspaper ad to inform Mark that she is proceeding ahead with a divorce.  This way of making a public attempt to inform the spouse is legally called “serving by publication”





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