Seeking an Ex Parte Divorce


If you and your spouse have been living apart for quite some time before you decided to formally end your marriage, it's possible that you might need a Pasadena divorce lawyer to assist with filing an ex parte divorce.

A ex parte divorce is a divorce that occurs in a state where only one spouse is living. Normally, a court only has jurisdiction over a person who has a relationship with the area, such as living or working within the state. An ex parte divorce is an exception to the normal rules of jurisdiction. If you live in California, the state has the legal authority to decide your marital status even if your spouse has moved out of the state.

The spouse who lives out of state is not required to appear in court as part of an ex parte divorce. However, you are required to provide notice of the divorce proceedings to your spouse. Normally, a process server gives your spouse the divorce papers. A process server can be the local sheriff or any official authorized by law to serve notice. If you don't know exactly where your spouse is currently living, you'll need to discuss how to provide notice with your attorney. There are several different options, including publishing notices in newspapers in cities where he or she is thought to be residing.

In an ex parte divorce, child support and child custody are determined by the child's state of residency. This can create legal hurdles for the noncustodial parent, so most attorneys will advise that parents avoid an ex parte divorce if at all possible.

An ex parte divorce is valid in all states if it is handled correctly. Common reasons that an ex parte divorce would be declared invalid include: lying about meeting residency requirements; having your absent spouse challenge the divorce; or using fraud or collusion to obtain a divorce from your spouse.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of legal representation during your divorce. Our Pasadena matrimonial lawyers can handle a variety of concerns, including issues relating to child custody, child support, visitation, spousal support, and the division of marital property.