Divorce by abandonment


Hello, I have a few questions. My dad literally lost his mind out of nowhere and took off. We found out later that he wasn’t coming back, is several states away, and he has been calling her his ex wife and done so many things a married man shouldn’t do. She is not able to pay the bills anymore and would like to move before needing to file for bankruptcy. Hes been gone over a year now, and I’ve been told she can begin the divorce process. To simply get divorced, I’ve also been told that she will have to file a complaint and summons with clerk of court, wait for response back in mail and if divorce declined or not responded to, begin newspaper publications once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. 1) Which county does she need to do publications in, the county in which they resided together in, or the county of his last known address? Were not completely sure what that address may be but we were told he was in glide, Oregon in a boarding house. 2) How does selling the house work after divorce is final? Does he have to sign for that even though hes abandoned that property? 3) does she have to prove abandonment separately somehow other than the above mentioned steps to complete divorce with last known address, or is the way we will be going about it considered divorce by abandonment? I was told that a lawyer would get back to me on this, so i also want to mention that my mom resides in Randolph county and I’m not sure where glide Oregon is, but are the laws different on this type of thing? If you could just fill me in on all of this it would be sooo helpful!


In order to handle the marital property issues, including the marital residence, she should file a claim for equitable distribution along with a claim for absolute divorce in the county in which she lives. If Husband’s name is also on the deed, Wife will need Husband’s consent/signature to sell the house, but having a court order dividing the marital property may help.

She must first attempt to serve her husband at a current residence either by certified mail or local sheriff’s deputy. If this is unsuccessful and she has used due diligence to track down the whereabouts and address of her husband, then she can serve by publication in a newspaper qualified to run legal advertisements.

The newspaper must be in the area that her husband is believed to be located. If there is no reliable information on his whereabouts, then she can use a newspaper in the county in which she filed her court complaint.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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