Best Arlington TX Divorce Attorneys
Every day, almost 2,000 Americans are reported missing. Some of these people cannot be found, while others do not want to be found. Unfortunately, this means that in a significant number of Texas divorce cases, the non-filing spouse cannot be located, despite the filing spouse’s best efforts. In many situations, the filing spouse may still be able to proceed with the divorce, if the applicable procedures are carefully followed. The same thing may be possible in a modification and certain other non-divorce family law matters, such as a name change. Any error could lead to the case being reopened later, and significant penalties being levied against the filing spouse. This is why many people seek out the legal assistance of the best Arlington TX divorce attorneys clients recommend.
Nail and Mail
Before a judge will authorize any substitute service, there must be evidence of “due diligence” in the record. That evidence is nearly always an Affidavit of Service. While there is no need to hire a private investigator or go to extraordinary ends, due diligence does include:
- Searching online for any current phone numbers, addresses, social media accounts, or job listings
- Searching area phone books and calls to directory assistance
- Asking friends and relatives if they know where the missing person is living
- Checking DMV and other public records
- Searching for a forwarding address at a local post office
Sometimes, a diligent search may lead to an address, but the respondent may simply refuse to come to the door. In these cases, nail and mail may be appropriate. The judge may issue an order allowing one copy of the petition to be affixed to the door and one copy to be mailed via regular first-class mail.
Divorce by Publication
As a divorce attorney Arlington TX residents trust can explain, if the diligent search fails to produce a good address, service by publication is the next option. Some courts may also require an attorney ad litem in these cases.
Once the judge signs permission to do so, the petitioner can serve notice by publication. Most courts have a preferred legal newspaper or similar publication; most courts also have precise language. If the notice appears in the wrong form or in the wrong place, service could be invalidated.
The timing is also very important. The notice must be published within 30 days after the order is signed. Typically, the notice must appear once a week for three consecutive weeks. After the last notice runs, the respondent has 30 days to answer. After the 30 days pass, the respondent is “in default” and the petitioner can request a court date.
Call Our Office for Help
If you need a divorce but you are not sure where your spouse is, you may be wondering where you can find the best divorce attorneys in Arlington, TX. The legal team at Brandy Austin Law Firm is here to help. Contact our office today for a free and confidential consultation.