When a spouse has disappeared, the court requires that a diligent search be made to locate him or her. If the search is not successful, I can petition the court to permit papers to be sent to the last known address or to the address of a relative. I charge $100.00 for the search (over and above the base rate for simple divorce, and expected to be paid when the divorce is filed), and another $100.00 for the Motion for Special Service if we do not succeed in locating the defendant. Out of pocket expenses are the responsibility of the client and I require an advance deposit of $25.00 against these expenses at the time of filing. Publication costs, if any, must be fully advanced by the client.
Here is the breakdown:
Publication costs can be several hundred dollars, so I usually try to find an address where the papers have some chance of reaching the defendant.
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