My spouse was deported march 2001. We had 3 children born out of our marriage. I have had zero contact with him since the day he was deported. I am not sure where to begin with this process knowing I do not know where he is. I only know he was deported to the philippines. I do not know where any of his family is living now. It seems to me that this should be easy but I don’t think it will be. He was deported, has had no contact for over 8 years and does not deserve to have any rights. I would like to be able to remarry and possibly have my children take new last name. My oldest child was 3 when he left and i was pregnant with my youngest. They do not recognize their birth father as their father.To them the man I have been with the last 6 years is their father. I do not ever want to try and get child support nor do I want him to ever be able to have access to my children if he was ever to come back(unlikely but anything can happen). I mostly just want this to be done so that we can all move on with our lives. What can I possibly do? Is there any way to have this divorce without spending thousands of dollars? I have no problem doing this on my own, just not sure if that is the right way to proceed with this. Thank You in advance.
You need to start by attempting to determine where your spouse is so that you may serve him with a complaint for divorce. If you have any marital property you will also need to include a claim for equitable distribution. If you cannot locate him after diligently searching you may serve him via publication, (placing an add in the legal notice section of the newspaper which circulates at his last know address).
As for custody, if you wish for your children to take your new name you must attempt to have your ex’s parental rights terminated before your new husband can begin the adoption process.
If your spouse were to come forward an attempt to see your children it would be up to a judge to decide if his involvement in their lives would be in their best interests. Given the length of time that has passed, and the fact that he has seemingly made no effort to support or have contact with the children is a factor that I believe would work strongly in your favor in a termination of parental rights action.