The divorce process in the state of Georgia begins with a petition for divorce being filed and served upon the other party. Service is accomplished either by the Sheriff in the county where the petition is filed personally serving the party or through a certified process server. A problem sometimes arises when the location of the other spouse is not known. Some of our clients have lost contact with an estranged spouse and haven’t spoken to them in years.
After diligent efforts have been made to personally serve a spouse with the divorce documents service can be made by publication. Generally, this is accomplished by running the notice of divorce in a newspaper in the area the spouse was last known to live for a period of time. Georgia requires a good faith effort by the petitioner to prove that he or she has made a sufficient effort to look for the other spouse. Once the court is satisfied that a sufficient effort has been made the court may then give permission to publish the notice several times over a period of sixty days. If the missing spouse fails to respond within one week of the last publication of the notice the court may then consider the action uncontested.
We have assisted clients through this process of serving a missing party for the initiation of the divorce process. We have also been on the other side of the dispute when a client has been divorced in an uncontested divorce through publication but now contests service. In the event there is a spouse who contests a service by publication that spouse will have to petition the court and argue that the service was improper. In either case the need for an experienced attorney to represent you is critical to ensure that your interest are protected. The Faucette Law Firm has represented clients in the Douglasville and Metro Atlanta in areas related to child support, child custody, modifications and contested and uncontested divorce. Contact us today for a consultation.