Filing for divorce in Haralson County, Georgia, when you are unable to locate your spouse requires additional paperwork. Whether you choose to file your divorce yourself, use an online legal service or hire an attorney, being unable to locate your spouse can change the grounds on which you may be granted the divorce, the jurisdiction where you file, the length of your waiting period and the method you are required to give him notice of your petition for divorce.
When filing for divorce you must list on the petition the reason you wish to divorce. No-fault divorce means you wish to divorce simply because you and your spouse do not get along and can no longer live together. Georgia allows twelve other grounds on which divorce may be sought, including desertion. If your spouse deserted you for a period of no less than one year, you may seek divorce based on desertion.
To initiate a divorce proceeding in Haralson County, Georgia, either you or your spouse need to have resided in Haralson County for the previous six months. If you are the one filing for divorce, jurisdiction is normally granted to the county where your spouse lives. When your spouse's location is unknown, however, you may file in the county where you have lived for the past six months. You need to indicate on the petition for divorce that his location is unknown to you.
Filing the Divorce
Georgia requires certain information to be included in the petition for divorce, including the location of both spouses. If you are unable to locate your spouse, you may file an affidavit, a sworn document to the court, detailing the steps you have taken to locate your spouse and stating you have been unable to find him. The affidavit will be filed with the court along with your divorce papers. Sample or printable forms for the petition and affidavit can be found online through third-party document preparation services. At the time of publication, Haralson County courts do not provide divorce forms. Once you have prepared the paperwork, you then file it with the Haralson County clerk of the court and serve your spouse by publication.
Service by Publication
The court requires you to serve the divorce petition on your spouse. When you are unable to locate your spouse and have filed an affidavit with the court describing your due diligence in unsuccessfully locating him, Georgia allows the court to order service by publication. Service by publication allows you to place a legal notice in the newspaper where he last resided, notifying him of your divorce filing. You are responsible for the publication fees. Keep track of the days your notice is published; you need to file a notice of publication with the court. The notice of publication form can be found on the Superior Courts of the State of Georgia website.
Divorces in Georgia are subject to waiting periods, which vary depending on circumstances. When one party is served by publication, the waiting period for the court to enter the final decree of divorce is at least 61 days after the first date of publication. Once this time has passed without the other party filing an answer, the judge may grant your uncontested divorce.