Can I get a divorce in Texas if I can’t locate my spouse?
Yes, you can get a divorce in this situation, but it requires a little extra work that is best completed by an attorney. When the petitioner (the spouse who files the petition for divorce) cannot communicate with or locate the respondent spouse, the major issue is going to be notice.
Texas law requires the petitioner to give notice of the divorce to the respondent. In a normal situation, the respondent would simply sign a waiver of service after receiving a copy of the previously filed petition. If the respondent refuses to sign a waiver, the petitioner would hire the constable to hand deliver a copy of the petition and report back to the court once delivered.
When the petitioner is unable to locate the respondent, the petitioner will need to get approval from the court to give notice in an alternative fashion (i.e. publication in a newspaper). After the alternative notice is given, the respondent may either (1) contest your request for divorce (contested divorce); (2) agree to the divorce (uncontested divorce); or (3) fail to contest/respond to the divorce. The 3rd option can result in a divorce by default judgment.