If you want to divorce your husband or wife, but don’t know where they are, the court can end the marriage without sending them the divorce petition.

First fill in the divorce petition, giving their last known address. The court will let you know if it’s returned unopened.

You then need to show that you’ve done everything you can to find them, eg by contacting their:

  • relatives (including any children)
  • friends
  • last known employer
  • bank or building society
  • trade union or professional organisation

If you still can’t find them, fill in the statement to dispense with service of divorce petition.

Return this to your local divorce county court.

You’ll have to pay a £50 court fee.

If they’re missing and presumed dead

If your husband or wife is missing and presumed dead, you can end the marriage using form D8D.

You can use this form to remarry, but not to get a death certificate, financial order (‘ancillary relief’) or apply for probate.

The same forms can be used to end a civil partnership if your civil partner has gone missing.