Can you get a divorce if you don’t know where your ex is?

February 28th, 2013 by John Schuman

My boyfriend wants to file for divorce from his wife. They have been legally separated for 7 1/2 years. No kids involved. He has had no contact with her and doesn’t know where she lives. We have tried finding her address and or phone number on line with no success. We found her and her daughter on Facebook. Sent them both messages and they have not responded. How does he file for divorce if we don’t have her address to serve her the papers. We know that she did at one time work At Superior Propane. Called there as well and they have no extension for her.

ANSWER

After you start the divorce proceeding, asking for only a divorce, you can bring a motion, without notice, asking for an order that the wife be deemed to be served by sending her a message on facebook, sending court documents to her last known address or similar. That motion can be brought “in writing” using a form 14B and supporting affidavit, so there does not need to be an actual in-person hearing before a judge. You can look at Rule 6(15) of the Family Law Rules e-laws by government of Ontario.

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However, you may save time and frustration by getting a lawyer to do this for you. The lawyer will likely only charge a little bit more for doing this than he or she usually charges for an uncontested divorce. My firm charges $1500 for uncontested divorces. If you have to wait a few times in line at the court office while you get your paperwork in order, you may find that cost is worth it to avoid frustration. For more about uncontested divorces see this video How to get a divorce . For more information on family law matters, including the ones above, you may want to get a copy of this $20 easy-to-understand book on the Basics of Ontario Family Law

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