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When a Spouse Cannot Be Found in Nevada
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. Divorce by publication happens after a judge has been convinced, based on a sworn declaration, of the serving party's inability to find the Defendant after trying hard. 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) the Petitioner must conduct what is termed a "due diligence" followed by Service by Publication.
Nevada's Search Requirements and Process
In Nevada, due diligence means that the Plaintiff must search for the missing spouse by checking with the Post Office, voter's registration, the Nevada Power Co., Southwest Gas Corp., the local telephone companies, the tax assessor's office, county recorder's office, the missing spouse's former employers, family, friends and neighbors.
If this is fruitless, Nevada courts require that the Plaintiff file an Affidavit for Service by Publication, a notarized statement which stipulates that he or she has neither seen nor heard from the missing spouse for nearly six months, and that the Plaintiff does not know where the missing spouse now resides. The Plaintiff requests that the Complaint for Divorce and Summons be published in the Nevada Legal News.
Generally, service by publication is permitted when the missing spouse is living outside the state at an unknown address; when he or she has left the state; when he or she cannot be located after a diligent search; or when the missing spouse is concealing himself or herself to avoid service. Generally, if the whereabouts of the out-of-state missing spouse are known to the Petitioner, the Nevada courts require that the Defendant receive personal service at the out-of-state residence, which means that the Petitioner must file a Motion and Support Affidavit for Out of State Service.
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 Nevada
When the court is satisfied with the effort, it Issues an Order of Publication, which gives the Petitioner permission to publish a Notice of Publication.
The Summons normally contains a sentence that states the nature of the action, e.g., "This is action to dissolve the bonds of matrimony between the Plaintiff and the Defendant."
The Summons gives the missing spouse 20 days to file a response.
Nevada Service by Publication is described in N.R.S. 4(e)(1).
Copyright Notice: These Nevada 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.