Legal Question in Family Law in Florida

My Husband abandoned me. He is from another country. I dont know if he is still living in the US, or not. Have not seen or heard from him in almost 7 years. We have no kids together, no property. I want to divorce him to put closure to this part of my life life, how do I do this? (Florida Resident)

Asked on 10/30/13, 3:00 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

John Smitten Carey and Leisure

you can get service of process and the court will take jurisdiction over the case if you publish proper notice in the paper. An attorney is recommended.

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Answered on 10/30/13, 3:28 pm

Alan Smith Tallahassee Legal Counsel

As Mr. Smitten does, I would always recommend an attorney. However, should you choose to go it alone for financial reasons, your steps should be as follows. Forms referenced below may be found at your local clerk of court's office or online in the family law forms section of

1. File for divorce. You may also choose to file an affidavit of indigency if you feel that the court's filing fees are unaffordable.

2. Perform a "diligent search" to find your husband. For guidance, use an affidavit of diligent search to determine what steps you can take.

3. After completing the diligent search, if you still have not found your husband, move for service of process by publication.

3a. If you find your husband, you should serve him the complaint for divorce along with a summons. In this case, you would have to handle the divorce as a normal court case. This could get very complicated, and I would doubly recommend hiring an attorney at this point.

4. If your husband does not respond to your complaint within the time for service by publication, you can file a motion for a default judgment of divorce.

Note that a default judgment only declares that the parties are divorced, and does not address distribution of property or alimony. However, since you state there is no property, this will not be as much of a concern.

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Answered on 10/31/13, 9:57 am

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