Runaway Spouses: 4 Factors That May Impact Your Divorce Case

It can be a shock and surprise to learn that your spouse has randomly decided to leave and abandon your family. After the initial heartbreaking moments go past, there comes a point where you will eventually want to file for divorce. In a majority of divorce cases, both parties need to be involved to move forward with the proceedings. If you've been abandoned by a runaway spouse, then there are special circumstances where you can get the divorce finalized without the presence of your spouse. By working with an attorney, you can sort through four factors involved in runaway spouses and ensure that the divorce goes through without any problems.

Search Documentation

Even though your spouse has abandoned you and your family, it still needs to be proved in court that this is a runaway case. Before anything can move forward, you must go through a detailed process of trying to contact your spouse and serve them the proper papers for the case. With the help of your attorney, you can keep a detailed log of visits and contacts that are made. For example, you may have visited their place of employment in an attempt to make contact. Through logs and entries, you can list the exact dates you visited, who you spoke to, and if you found out any information on your spouses whereabouts.

Additional search documentation may include phone calls to your spouse's family members. Any type of sighting or indication should be followed up with a visit or attempt to make contact. An attorney may also try to make contact with your spouse and assist you with the search functions.

Social Media Posts

Along with in-person searching, you can try to track your spouse with a digital trail. By detailing any activity online, you can showcase the due diligence in an effort to search for the runaway spouse and serve them papers. This is an important aspect of searching and often one of the easiest ways to contact someone. Through social media posts, you can list any attempts at conversations, posts to friends, or any images of the spouse that you found online. If you have found information about your spouse's location through social media, you can attempt to send an official server for delivering a court summons. If the spouse is not there, then the official server can help provide this report and increase the evidence you have to support a runaway spouse situation.

Published Summons

Once the search portion is complete, you can work with an attorney to create a published summons. This is basically the public version of serving papers. It will typically appear in the legal section of a newspaper. By using information you gathered, a public summons will be published in the most ideal publication where your spouse can see it. For example, if you heard rumors or stories that your spouse moved to another state, then you would publish the summons in a newspaper in that state instead of the one where you're living. An attorney can help you determine the length of the summons needed before the case can move forward.

Child Custody

If you have children with the spouse, then it's important to establish custody well before any divorce proceedings begin. In abandonment situations, your attorney can file emergency custody papers to help you get temporary full custody of the children while you're going through the case. This will keep the children under your care and prevent any problems if your spouse suddenly decides to reappear again.

Once your hearing has been approved and you can move forward without your spouse present, you will have the ability to set the full terms of the child custody. Along with the custody, your attorney can held you set up everything else for the case including the division of property, assets, and child support payments.

The whole process can be overwhelming, upsetting and stressful, but with the help of a professional attorney, you can easily complete the tasks and get the divorce finalized. For more information, contact a practice like Koth & Gregory PC Law Firm.​