Knowing your spouse’s address for a Pennsylvania divorce is not actually all that important. It is true that the Divorce Complaint, which is what the document is named for all types of divorces in Pennsylvania, has a space on it to be filled in with your spouse’s address; however, if you have tried to determine what that address is and cannot find out and your spouse will not give it to you, you may use your spouse’s last known address, even if it is the last address where the two of you lived together, no matter how long ago. That address will be identified as your spouse’s last known address on the Complaint and it would, therefore, be accurate.
For a low-cost, simple, uncontested, no-fault divorce, what you need is your spouse’s signed consent, which you will need that no matter how long you have been separated – or you do not have a low-cost divorce case.
Did I just hear you say that you do not know how to get your spouse’s signature because you do not know your spouse’s address? I have heard that frequently. There are also situations where a person wanting a divorce knows exactly where the spouse lives but also knows that the spouse will not sign anything. That is not a low-cost case, but rather a very expensive contested case. Something else I hear is that the spouse will sign but the spouse’s address is not known, which leads us back to square one.
The fact is that there are ways to get your spouse’s signature without knowing your spouse’s address, but you will have to exert some effort to get that signature. A common mistake is to ask someone where your spouse is, perhaps a relative like a child, sibling, parent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, grandparent etc. Nor need it be a relative. It could be a co-worker, friend, employer, bartender or others. That question puts such people between a rock and a hard place. They may want to help you, but do not want to divulge any confidential information and upset your spouse, so they lie and say that they do not know your spouse’s whereabouts… end of conversation. The sensible approach is to begin by clearly stating that you do NOT need or even want to know your spouse’s whereabouts then point out that it is clear that your spouse does not wish to be your spouse. Then say that you want nothing from your spouse and found a divorce lawyer you can afford, but you need your spouse’s signature and if that person should hear from your spouse, maybe you could give that person your spouse’s documents and get that signature. That way, your spouse gets a free divorce without having to tell you about your spouse’s whereabouts. Done correctly and with some effort, you will be able to get a low-cost divorce. If you prefer not to make the effort, simply see a local lawyer with about $3000.00 (to start).