Yes, your spouse can’t force you to stay married by dropping off the radar.
You’ll have to do quite a bit of work to achieve a divorce when your spouse is all the way out of the picture, but it’s a common enough situation that New York has a well-organized procedure for just that circumstance.
In a Publication Divorce, you’ll have to tell a judge that your spouse is missing when you file.
You’ll be required to search public databases, military and prison records, the Internet, track down any friends or relatives of your spouse if possible, and document that you have made a thorough and exhaustive search to find and serve your spouse.
If the court agrees, you’ll be allowed to publish a notice in the newspaper of record where your spouse, or someone close to your spouse, might see it.
Your spouse will have time to respond to your notice, but if they remain missing, the court will enter the default, and your divorce can proceed.
Searching and documenting your search can be very difficult, but our staff includes experienced researchers who know how to search and where.
When you’re ready to divorce but your spouse is nowhere to be found, call the attorneys at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino at 718-725-9601 for a free consultation.