Most divorces are something like “Marriage Story” where there is cheating or a breakdown of communication or a couple seems to fall out of love. It’s painful, but one of you usually files for divorce and the process goes from there. The good news is that over time most people feel better and find themselves in a happier place in life.
Some people though get married, separate from their spouse and don’t talk to them for years. For whatever reason, neither of them files for divorce. Usually it’s because it’s too expensive, but some people just don’t get around to it. It may sound odd, but it’s really no different than people who know they need a will but keep putting it off. At some point when you’ve divided everything up and have your own place, you feel like you’ve moved on. That’s enough for some.
Eventually though it does seem that one of the spouses wants to make the breakup official. Often it’s because they are in a new relationship, possibly heading to a new marriage. Other times it’s because they are buying a house and want to make sure there are no issues with that. For some, they make a New Year’s resolution and just get it done.
When you do file after a long separation, the process itself isn’t much different than any other divorce. The good is that there won’t be a battle, most likely, over assets and debts as well as child custody or support. Usually it’s just a matter of making everything official.
The biggest issue we see in these cases is that a caller doesn’t know where their spouse is. In those cases you still file for divorce like normal, but tell the Judge that you can’t locate your ex. If you can prove to the Court that you’ve used your best efforts to find them, they will likely grant you permission to get divorced by publication. This essentially means that you place an ad notifying the public about the divorce filing in local papers. I’ve never heard of anyone actually discovering about a case that way, but it’s the law. Prior to that time though you’d need to show the Judge that you called relatives, searched the internet, tried old phone numbers or emails, etc.
In the end this is almost like pulling off a band-aid. You just have to just do it and when it’s done you’ll be glad you did.