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Serving a spouse for divorce isn't always easy

Divorces aren't always easy. There is a step during which the other party has to be served with the divorce documents. If you're still in touch, that's not very difficult. However, if you were in an abusive relationship or no longer know where your spouse is, it's nearly impossible to serve the documents.

The good news about that situation is that if you can't find your spouse for an extended period of time, a judge may grant you an exception and divorce without needing to serve the paperwork. This is beneficial for cases of abandonment or abuse where the other party is no longer able to be found, but it's not common.

Another obstacle some people face is the struggle to compensate an attorney for services. Fortunately, many attorneys work on contingency, meaning they obtain compensation when you do. That's a major benefit to someone who is struggling to make ends meet but who must get help from an attorney for a divorce. In some cases, if you pay out of pocket for your attorney, the court may even ask your ex-spouse to foot the bill after the divorce if the court can locate him or her.

If you do know where your spouse is but he or she will not stay in one place long enough for you to serve papers, you may wish to hire a third party to do so. This third party could dress up like a pizza delivery driver or appear as a normal postman or woman. Your attorney can give you more information on how you can serve an elusive spouse.

Source: New York Times, "Their Husbands Abused Them. Shouldn’t Divorce Be Easy?," Zoe Greenberg, May 11, 2018

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