How to Serve a Parent Who Cannot Be Located

Opening a divorce or custody case requires you to ensure that your spouse is served with the essential documentation to begin the legal procedure. While it seems like a straightforward procedure, it can become a lot more challenging when you don’t know where your partner is.

Here are three things to do to serve your partner or child’s parent who is nowhere to be found.

Demonstrate Due Diligence

The first thing to do before taking any action against a parent who can’t be located is to demonstrate due diligence by making every effort to find them. It means, if you have a lead of where your spouse might be or is likely to spend a significant amount of time, you must look for them in those places when attempting to serve them.

Another idea is to contact their close friends and family members to help you locate them and begin the divorce or child support process promptly. Similarly, you can use online resources like social media to find them too. However, if this doesn’t work, you may resort to alternative methods.

Nevertheless, it’s critical to have an affidavit or a legal document stating your due diligence to prove that you did your best to find them before returning to the court, for other solutions.

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Service by Publication

The next step to take if you’re unable to locate the served party through due diligence is by requesting the court for permission to publish the summons in a local newspaper. Once approved, your warrant will be issued in your local newspaper for three consecutive weeks.

However, you must provide the judge with all the details and evidence of your due diligence before the request of publication service can be accepted.

Undergo the Default Divorce Process

After you have served the party via publication and they do not respond, you may proceed with the default divorce process without them. In other words, if you serve the other party via one of the options above and they do not participate in the process, you can request to proceed with a default divorce process. Make sure you seek assistance from a reliable family law attorney during this procedure.

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If you have child support or a divorce case with a spouse whose whereabouts are unknown, be sure to consult with an experienced family law attorney in Reno. At Anderson Keuscher, we have a team of experienced divorce attorneys in Reno, representing clients in the best possible way. Contact our family lawyers to schedule a consultation today.

Listen to Jessica Anderson talk about this topic on this episode of Love Court: