The simple answer is you can still obtain a divorce. Most divorces can be based on either fault (abandonment, adultery, etc.) or by living separate and apart for a specific length of time and neither requires the cooperation of both spouses. As long as you provide your spouse with sufficient notice of the court hearing and opportunity to attend they do not have to be present to obtain the divorce. If you cannot prove that you furnished your spouse with legal process, the court will not allow you to proceed with putting on evidence related to divorce grounds, custody, spousal support, property division or child support. If you do provide sufficient legal process, the court can decide all of your divorce issues, even in the absence of your spouse. He or she will have forfeited the right to present evidence. Once the judge sorts out all of these issues, the court will enter a final divorce order without the consent, participation or signature of your spouse.
Kirk C. Stange of Stange Law Firm, PC is a family law attorney in St. Louis, Missouri.
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