While 90% of people in the US get married before the age of 50, about 50% of those marriages eventually fail. Marriages fail for a variety of reasons, but before someone gets divorced, they usually become separated.
If you and your spouse have separated, it’s usually the first step towards ending the relationship for good. Only 13% of couples reunite after separation. If your spouse disappeared from your life a while ago, however, you may be required to take steps to try and contact them before a court takes your case.
Ahead, we’ll offer you some guidance in locating your estranged spouse.
Start With The Internet
Google is your best friend when it comes to finding people. Seach social media pages, company profiles, and anything else that might give you a hint of where your spouse is living. If you have a small piece of information, such as a company, you can usually find an address without much sleuthing.
Sending a Letter
The first and easiest step in finding an estranged spouse is to send them a letter to their last known address. On the front of the letter, write “Address Service Requested.” Make this note as prominent as you can so the post office won’t miss it.
Most of the time, if your spouse has left a forwarding address, the post office will send the letter back with the new address printed on the front. From there, you can contact them however you choose.
Sometimes, the post office will just forward the letter to your spouse without sending you an address. Include a letter in your mail that tells them why you’re contacting them. If you want to get a divorce, this is a satisfactory way to let them know.
Checking Schools and Utilities
If you can’t find an address by letter and you know the city your spouse lives in, check with utility companies in the area. Call them up and say you haven’t received a bill in a while. Ask them for the address they have to make sure it’s correct.
Additionally, if your spouse has custody of your child, call the schools in the area and ask for their records. Call the last school you know about and ask for the forwarding address. Most states allow non-custodial parents to view these records, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding your spouse if you have a child together.
Notice By Publication
A lot of the time, people who are looking for a missing spouse are trying to get a divorce. Many courts will require that you take necessary steps to contact them before they grant you a divorce, so follow the tips above and use the notice by publication as your last option.
If your spouse is still MIA, the judge will grant your divorce. They’ll notify your spouse by printing notices in several publications in the area. Courts will usually grant you divorce without the other party if you meet the required conditions.
Finding an Estranged Spouse
While locating a spouse can be a bit easier if you have a kid together, it’s usually difficult to pin-down their last location. If you’re looking for a divorce once you find them, many courts will allow you to break it off without the involvement of the other party.
If you need more tips on online investigating, take a look at our blog!