I have not seen my spouse for years and I do not know where my spouse is. How do I get a divorce?
You will need to tell the court that you tried to find the defendant. You will sign a sworn statement (affidavit) where you: 1. swear that to the best of your knowledge the whereabouts of your spouse are unknown; 2. swear that you have used reasonable diligence in trying to find out where the defendant is (i.e., you tried hard to find him or her); and 3. State what the last residence of the defendant was. Next, you will file a motion (along with the affidavit) asking for permission to serve/notify the defendant by running an ad in the newspaper (service by publication). Once the Judge gives permission for service by publication, you will publish the notice in the newspaper for four (4) consecutive weeks. If your spouse does not file an answer, the court can grant your divorce as early as 60 days after the first notice ran in the paper. You will have to attend a hearing before the judge can grant your divorce. NOTE: In a divorce by publication, the court cannot award alimony, child support, or property located outside of Georgia. If you lie to the court about your knowledge of your spouse?s whereabouts, the divorce can be overturned later, and you can be prosecuted for perjury.