Service By Publication: Does This Requirement Match The Internet Age?

Service By Publication: Does This Requirement Match The Internet Age?

When couples separate they often lose touch, go their separate ways and lose contact. This generally occurs when a couple marries young, does not accumulate joint assets and does not have children together.

At the time of the separation it seems easy enough…The couple parts and begins separate lives. However, when the time to divorce arises, a spouse often cannot be located for service of process. If one party moves out of the state or the country and years pass, it can be difficult to locate a spouse, especially if there is no joint property or other incentive to keep the parties in touch. So, what do you do if you would like to get a divorce but cannot seem to locate your spouse?

Divorce Service by Publication in New York in the Internet Age

The solution in New York State is divorce by publication. This can be a lengthy and expensive process. The court requires a motion requesting permission to publish a divorce in the newspaper. In order to get this permission, a litigant must document that all search avenues have been exhausted. These searches include contact with the post office, the military, immigration, the department of labor, plus widespread internet searches. Once this evidence is collected and proves that the spouse is truly “missing” the court will allow a legal notice to be placed in a newspaper. This gives the defendant notice of the impending divorce.

In 2011, the court is well aware that individuals do not search the newspaper to inquire about an impending divorce. It is ironic that the searches to find a spouse are completed on the internet but that the notice may only be published in a newspaper, especially since there is a greater likelihood that a defendant will discover the news online. This is particularly true if a party lives or is traveling out of the country. Plus, there is little or no cost involved in an internet post. Thus, the question remains as to when New York courts will recognize that service of publication is a process in need of revision.

If you do require a service by publication, the attorney’s at Keil & Siegel LLP are experts with the process. We will accomplish your goals as quickly as possible and for the lowest price.

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