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Divorcing an Absentee Spouse

Can I get divorced if I do not know where my spouse is?

It happens. Married people separate and sometimes lose touch. There are little to no common friends or family. No children or property forcing communication. People move and move on.

But then what?

You are not stuck. You can still get a divorce; however, just like we explained in the Divorce Process, you must still have your spouse served with the divorce proceedings or you cannot move forward.

So, how do you do this?

You can accomplish service by asking the Court to appoint a Curator.

What is a curator?

The Court will appoint an attorney at law to represent the absentee defendant.

All proceedings against the absentee defendant shall be conducted contradictorily against the attorney at law appointed by the court to represent him. Louisiana Civil Code of Procedure 5091. The attorney shall use reasonable diligence to communicate with the defendant and inform him of the pendency and nature of the action or proceeding, and of the time available for the filing of an answer or the assertion of a defense otherwise. Louisiana Civil Code of Procedure 5094.

The attorney at law appointed by the court shall use reasonable diligence to inquire of the defendant, and to determine from other available sources, what defense, if any, the defendant may have, and what evidence is available in support thereof.

The attorney generally has the same duty, responsibility, and authority in defending the action or proceeding as if he had been retained as counsel for the defendant. Louisiana Civil Code of Procedure 5095. The curator shall be compensated for his costs.

So, with proper service upon the curator, and the subsequent actions taken by the curator, you will be able to get your divorce.

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