Texas Divorce Procedures for a Missing Spouse

By Kay Lee

There are times when a spouse wants a divorce, but the other spouse has either disappeared or moved out of state. The location of the other spouse will not affect a spouse's ability to request a divorce; it simply alters the protocol a bit. State law governs divorce actions. Accordingly, Texas has special procedures for estranged couples seeking a divorce.

Locating an Estranged Spouse

Prior to seeking a missing spouse divorce in Texas, you must attempt to locate them. You should begin by contacting the U.S. Postal Service and your missing spouse’s relatives, last known home address and last known place of employment as well as search the Yellow Pages and conduct Internet searches. Once this search has been exhausted, if the missing spouse still cannot be found, you must execute an Affidavit of Diligent Search, which you will submit to the court when you file your petition for divorce.

Missing Spouse Divorce Without Children

If you do not have any children with your missing spouse, you must file an Affidavit for Citation by Publication and Diligent Search, a Supporting Affidavit for Citation by Publication, a Certificate of Last Known Address and a Statement of Evidence, which sets forth the reasons for divorce in the family law court in the county where you reside as well as execute divorce papers. Since your spouse is missing, the court will post this summons at the court; it will qualifies as service of process, which is the legal term for notice. The missing spouse has 60 days to respond to the notice. If he does not respond, the divorce will be finalized during a hearing scheduled by the judge.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Missing Spouse Divorce With Children

If you have children with your missing spouse, you must file all of the same documents as you would if seeking a missing spouse divorce without children. Texas law, however, requires you to make a greater effort to locate your estranged spouse. In addition to conducting a diligent search, Texas requires your notice be published in a publication that is local to the last known address of the missing spouse. If the missing spouse does not respond to the publication’s notice by filing a response or attending the previously scheduled hearing, the divorce will be finalized during the hearing.

Texas Residency Requirements

In order to file for divorce in Texas, you must have lived there at least six months before you file for divorce. If your spouse lives in Texas and you reside out of state, you are required to file for divorce in the county where he lives. If you live outside of Texas and you are seeking a missing spouse divorce, you may wish to file for divorce in your state.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to File a Divorce in the Dallas County Courts


Related articles

How to Divorce a Missing or Abandoned Spouse in Georgia

The state of Georgia provides a variety of recourse for spouses needing divorce by default. Divorce by default in Georgia includes situations in which a spouse is missing, has abandoned the family or simply does not respond to a Petition for Dissolution. While Georgia maintains a no-fault "irretrievably broken" ground for divorce, abandonment and desertion are also grounds and these grounds may apply, even if your spouse's whereabouts are known.

How to Serve Divorce Papers Under Massachusetts State Law

Divorce is the termination of a marriage by court order. The person who wants a divorce starts a court action that ends with a state court judge signing a judgment ending the marriage. Massachusetts, like other states, has rules and procedures you must follow to obtain a divorce through its courts. The courts do not have the power to decide the case until after the complaint has been filed and the summons has been served.

What Is the Difference Between a Default Divorce & No Fault in Arizona?

Arizona’s no-fault divorce laws make it easier to obtain a divorce than in other states where you must prove wrongful conduct on the part of your spouse. Even though Arizona is a no-fault divorce state, your spouse has the right to challenge your request to end the marriage by filing opposing papers with the court. If your spouse does not file the papers in time, the court may grant you a divorce by default.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Get a Divorce If You Are an Inmate in a State Prison in Georgia

Divorce is the legal recognition that your marriage has ended. If you or your spouse is an inmate in a state prison in ...

How to Divorce a Missing Husband in Mississippi

If your husband skips out on your marriage and disappears, it complicates the divorce process, but it won't stop you ...

Steps to Filing for Divorce in Pierce County, Washington

The state of Washington permits you to obtain a divorce if you or your spouse is a resident of the state. State law ...

Can a Husband File for a Divorce If He Can't Find His Wife in Texas?

Texas law requires that you provide your spouse with a notice of a divorce action and afford her an opportunity ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED