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When a Spouse Cannot Be Found in Hawaii
When one spouse wants to call it quits but cannot find his or her missing partner, or when he or she is hiding, divorce by publication comes into play. Service by publication is commonly used in a divorce action to serve a spouse who has disappeared without a leaving a forwarding address.
When the Respondent cannot or will not be found (and, therefore, fails to respond to the Summons within 20 days for attempted service of process), the Petitioner must conduct what is termed a "diligent search" followed by Service by Publication.
Hawaii's Search Requirements and Process
Hawaii courts require a good faith effort by the Petitioner to prove that he or she has made a genuine search for his or her missing partner. This search entails making a diligent effort and may include checking the telephone book and directory assistance, asking friends and relatives who might know the location of the missing spouse, checking the post office for any forwarding address and pursuing any other possible sources that might lead to a current address.
In order to be eligible for a "Divorce by Publication", you must complete and submit an Affidavit of Diligent Search to the court. This document clearly outlines all of the actions you have taken to locate your spouse, essentially proving to the court that your spouse absolutely can't be found.
If you actively pursue locating your spouse through the methods outlined in the Affidavit of Diligent Search, and still can't locate your spouse, then a "Divorce by Publication" is your likely method of getting a divorce.
Filing for Divorce by Publication in Hawaii
If the search is fruitless, Hawaii Rule of Civil Procedure provides that "[w]henever a statute or an order of court If provides for service upon a party not an inhabitant of or found within the State, of a summons, or of a notice, or of an order in lieu of summons, service shall be made under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed by the statute or order. Whenever a statute or an order of court requires or permits service by publication of a summons, or of a notice, or of an order in lieu of summons, any publication pursuant thereto shall be made under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed by the statute or order."
When the Petitioner files the Affidavit of Plaintiff (for Uncontested Divorce), which is one of the forms filed, he or she states the date that the Affidavit of Publication was filed.
Hawaii Service by Publication is described in Hawaii Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.
Copyright Notice: These Hawaii divorce laws above are copyrighted by Divorce Source, Inc. This abbreviated and revised version of the state laws has been compiled from applicable state laws and unauthorized reproduction in any fashion is prohibited. Violation of this copyright notice may result in immediate legal action.