HUDSON COUNTY DIVORCE LAWYER: Divorcing Someone Outside the United States


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People from all over the world come to the United States for the hope of achieving the American Dream and having a better life. New Jersey is a State filled with immigrants, filled with International people from countries/regions ranging from Canada, South America, Italy, France, India and beyond. We represent many people who live in New Jersey while their spouses live in India or elsewhere and who seek a divorce.

Sometimes people get married in another country, move here and when things do not work out, one spouse vanishes. Some vanish to their home country, some move out of state, either way they cannot be found and the person left here wants to be divorced and it is their right to obtain a divorce from someone that is not willing to be married to them, has abandoned them, etc. In order to do so, a person must prove to the court that he or she cannot locate their spouse. In New Jersey, a diligent inquiry must be conducted and the results of the inquiry must be attached to the motion seeking to permit a divorce by publication. The rule governing personal service is below under number (3). New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Santo Artusa is skilled in filing and obtaining judgments against people that cannot be located. For specific information about divorces with regard to your location visit: Union County Divorce Lawyer, Bergen County Divorce Lawyer, Essex County Divorce Lawyer, Hudson County Divorce Lawyer.

Rule 4:4-5. Summons; Service on Absent Defendants; In Rem or Quasi In Rem Jurisdiction

  • (a) Methods of Obtaining In Rem Jurisdiction. Whenever, in actions affecting specific property, or any interest therein, or any res within the jurisdiction of the court, or in matrimonial actions over which the court has jurisdiction, wherein it shall appear by affidavit of the plaintiff’s attorney or other person having knowledge of the facts, that a defendant cannot, after diligent inquiry as required by this rule, be served within the State, service may, consistent with due process of law, be made by any of the following four methods:
    •  (1) personal service outside this State as prescribed by R. 4:4-4(b)(1)(A) and (B); or
    • (2) service by mail as prescribed by R. 4:4-4(b)(1)(C); or
    • (3) by publication of a notice to absent defendants once in a newspaper published or of general circulation in the county in which the venue is laid; and also by mailing, within 7 days after publication, a copy of the notice as herein provided and the complaint to the defendant, prepaid, to the defendant’s residence or the place where the defendant usually receives mail, unless it shall appear by affidavit that such residence or place is unknown, and cannot be ascertained after inquiry as herein provided or unless the defendants are proceeded against as unknown owners or claimants pursuant to R. 4:26-5(c). If defendants are proceeded against pursuant to R. 4:26-5(c), a copy of the notice shall be posted upon the lands affected by the action within 7 days after publication. The notice of publication to absent defendants required by this rule shall be in the form of a summons, without a caption. The top of the notice shall include the docket number of the action, the court, and county of venue. The notice shall state briefly:
      • (A) the object of the action, the name of the plaintiff and defendant followed by et al., if there are additional parties, the name of the person or persons to whom the notice is addressed, and the basis for joining such person as a defendant; and
      • (B) if the action concerns real estate, the municipality in which the property is located, its street address, if improved, or the street on which it is located, if unimproved, and its tax map lot and block numbers; and
      • (C) if the action is to foreclose a mortgage, tax sale certificate, or lien of a condominium or homeowners association, the parties to the instrument and the date thereof, and the recording date and book and page of a recorded instrument; and
      • (D) the information required by R. 4:4-2 regarding the availability of Legal Services and Lawyer Referral Services together with telephone numbers of the pertinent offices in the vicinage in which the action is pending or the property is located; or
    • (4) as may be provided by court order.


New Jersey Divorce Firm-The Artusa Law Firm,  has handled many divorce by publication cases in New Jersey where a spouse cannot be located in the United States or abroad. The diligent search motion must be perfect to have a judge sign an order permitting service by publication. Once the order is entered, the summons and complaint shall be placed in the legal notice section of the “county” newspaper where the defendant has 35 days to respond. After he or she does not respond, default shall be entered and the plaintiff shall move to finalize the divorce and obtain a final judgment of divorce.

If you have a divorce case where your spouse cannot be located, contact the experienced divorce lawyers at the Artusa Law Firm on 201-706-7910 today.

For specific information as to where you may file for a divorce in your specific county, visit our Artusa Law Firm interactive map below: