Finding a spouse

My girlfriend and her husband have been separated since November 30, 2016. She moved out of the house they rented. Sometime later he moved without informing her and stopped responding to calls and texts more than 6 months ago. She attended a free information workshop given by an attorney at our local courthouse on filing for divorce by yourself without an attorney. One of the things she mentioned was going through the DMV to get his address. Reading through the information on the DMV’s website it says that personal information, including someone’s address, is confidential and only given out to certain individuals in certain situations, the obvious being law enforcement etc.

Is someone entitled to receive their spouse’s address from the DMV without a subpoena if they can prove they are married? If a subpoena is necessary, is it possible for an individual to fill out a form asking the court for a subpoena for the DMV to turn over any information they have on their spouse’s current and/or previous addresses so that they may serve them with divorce papers or would they need an attorney for that?

We understand that she can file for divorce if he can’t be found after following the necessary steps but he currently drives a truck that is in her name and he continually doesn’t make the truck payments and she can see online when they haven’t been made and/or is contacted after it is delinquent by the loan company and is having to make the payments for him in order to keep her credit in good standing so we want to find him not only so that he can be served but this issue can be settled through the courts.

Thank you in advance for your time and any assistance you can give us, it is greatly appreciated!

To the best of my knowledge, you will need a subpoena to obtain your girlfriend’s husband’s address. You will need to file for divorce prior to issuing the subpoena, as there needs to be a valid court case first. In my opinion, you’re better off hiring a private investigator to track him down through social media and other means.

I would also suggest filing a motion to address the issue of the truck and your girlfriend’s credit and have him served with the motion at the same time.

Good luck!

Cristin, my husband was fired from his job for embezzlement and fled the country without telling me. He is not reachable except through email and is non responsive. He has stopped paying his financial obligations towards the mortgage and other expenses involved. He will not sign a Listing Agreement that will allow me to put the house up for sale. I cannot afford to continue to maintain the financial obligations that we were both responsible for. I cannot serve him papers as I have no address AND he is not in the United States. What are my options for getting an RFO to sell the house and move forward and what is the cost involved ?

I’m so sorry to hear about your situation - it sounds like you have been through way too much in your marriage, and I want to encourage you to stay strong. I can’t tell from your message whether or not a divorce action has been filed yet or whether or not your husband has been served with the Petition and Summons.

Assuming nothing has been filed, you’ll want to file ASAP and then request to serve him by “publication.” This isn’t a very quick process, but if a case hasn’t been opened yet, this the correct way to start.

If he’s already been served with the divorce papers and has not responded, you’ll want to take his default ASAP and move forward with a default divorce judgment.

If he’s already been served with the divorce papers and has responded, you can file your RFO and serve him at his last known address - to cover your bases, you’ll want to email him a copy too, but valid service is at his address of record with the court.

Depending on the county you’re in, you MIGHT be able to file an emergency motion and serve him with the pleadings via email - every county’s local rules are different. This won’t totally solve the problem, but it might get you some emergency temporary orders.

While I understand that you’re in some serious financial difficulties, you really should consider hiring an attorney for at least some limited assistance. Hiring an attorney isn’t cheap, but given that your credit and a valuable asset are on the line here, it’s probably going to be cheaper in the long run. An attorney can set you up with the proper legal arguments to move the case forward. I’m concerned that there are enough technicalities here that you’re likely to get stuck in procedural mistakes and never get heard by the judge.

Hang in there, and please get help.