Yuma, AZDivorces happen for a number of different reasons, and a spouse that leaves or disappears can be a valid legal reason for the separation. Under traditional fault based divorce grounds, this situation was called abandonment because one spouse had essentially abandoned the marriage. The family courts do allow the remaining spouse to formally file for divorce and end the marriage if they cannot locate their partner, but some requirements must be met.  

Abandoned marriages

When a couple starts to have problems and arguments, it is possible that one spouse will simply leave and try to disappear. When this happens, the spouse should make a good faith attempt to locate the person through their place of employment or any possible addresses of family members. In addition to these places, there are also various records related to things like driver’s licenses and property purchases. However, when someone does not want to be found it is possible that they could have changed their name or moved to a different jurisdiction. 

The partner who is still trying to locate their spouse can get divorced even if all of these efforts fail and the person simply cannot be located. 

Notice requirements

All lawsuits require notice to be given to any person or entity implicated as a general matter of civil procedure. This is true in divorces as well as all other types of cases, so that all defendants have a chance to respond to and attend the proceedings. 

Notice of the intent to divorce can be given through constructive means if the actual location of the other spouse is unknown. This is normally done in some kind of local publication such as newspaper classified ads. Shortly after this kind of constructive notice process is completed, the petitioner can formally proceed with the divorce on their own, even if the other partner never responds.  

Specific issues that may be related to abandonment and divorce

It is also possible that other complex areas of divorce law may be implicated if there is a spouse that is missing or abandoned during the proceedings. This can include property division, child custody, and related matters that are also decided during any divorce. Specific legal assistance is necessary for the person filing the dissolution of marriage petition to sort these issues out properly, as the procedures are slightly different when both spouses cannot be present. 

Family lawyers in Yuma Arizona

There are local attorneys who can assist with divorces and all other family court matters. Schneider and Onofry is a trusted firm that handles separations and various other issues such as child support and custody for clients in Yuma. 

Firm contact info:

Schneider & Onofry, P.C.

207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364



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