– from Marilyn G. in West Allis, WI

Question Details:

I am looking to file a divorce against my husband. He recently has been on the move and has no permanent address. I know in order for a divorce to occur, proper notice of a court date must be given. He told me he plans to come back to Wisconsin for some bit of time, however he did not say if he would be seeing me or not. How should I attempt to give him notice of the hearing?

Family Law Attorney Response:

It is important to give someone proper notice of a legal action. If proper notice is not applied, a judge cannot have proper personal jurisdiction over a party. The best way to provide proper notice is in person. You can also pay a sheriff to notify someone through a summons. However, if your spouse is in jail the process of notifying them would be a little different.

However, if you cannot give someone a notice of divorce in person because you cannot reach them but you are aware of them being within a certain state or county, you can publish the summons in a newspaper that is easily accessible.

In the case of Emery v. Emery, 124 Wis.2d 613, 369 N.W.2d 728 (1985), a judge believed that if someone tells another he plans to come back to Wisconsin, and the moving around is only temporarily, it can be conceived posting a summons in a county publication is considered enough notice for personal jurisdiction.

I hope this answers your question, if you have any more, feel free to call.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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