When two people separate, they may want to move as far away from each other as possible in order to deal with the situation or get on with their lives. It's not unusual for one of the individuals to withdraw or to try and shut themselves off from the entire process in the hope that it will go away and will not develop into a divorce. This can prove problematic for the other individual, however, who may want to file for divorce as soon as possible. If that is you, what happens if you simply cannot connect with your "ex?" Can you proceed with a divorce or not?

Saving Documents

In simple legal terms, the court will require you to serve notice on the other party if you want to apply for a divorce. Typically, this will involve a "service," which is the act of giving the court documents to the party so they are entirely aware of what is happening. You will need to initiate the process by filing these documents with the court and only then can service take place.

Easier Said Than Done

However, you may find it very difficult to get in touch with the other party and especially if they are actively trying to ignore you. You may do everything in your power to locate them but to no avail and, in this case, you might be at your wit's end.

Your Options

However, you may have other options, but only if the court agrees that you can go down this road. In one case you may be able to serve the documents on somebody who does (or is likely to) have contact with the individual. This is known as substituted service. On the other hand, you may dispense with the process altogether, if you can satisfy the court that you have done everything in your power to find them.

Gathering Evidence

This can be quite a high bar to cross, and you may have to provide a lot of evidence to the court before they agree.

  • You need to detail your efforts and attempts very clearly with dates, times and information to back it up.
  • You may need to prove that you contacted their friends and relatives or got in touch with their last known employer.
  • If you have spent a lot of money so far in trying to locate them, document all this evidence and put it in front of the court.

Help Is Critical

Of course, all of this delay can be frustrating and costly by itself, and you will want to avoid any additional expenditure if you can. Nevertheless, you should certainly get legal support from an experienced lawyer. They'll help you to gather the information and lodge the strongest case possible so that you can get a dispensation of service.

To learn more, reach out to a service that can serve divorce papers.