Lake City, TN asked in Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee

Q: How do I get a divorce and sole custody?

My husband and I have been separated since 2015. He has not attempted to contact his kids since 2016. He is over 28000 behind on child support and has a bench warrant out for his arrest that was issued 3 years ago and is still active. He's currently going to court for dwls and they still do nothing about the warrant and he got his ticket in the tricounty area where warrant was issued. I don't know where he lives so I don't know how to go about getting a divorce. I've contacted his girlfriend via facebook last Christmas and she won't open the message. Is there some kind of law out there pertaining to my situation that would grant me sole custody terminating his rights and my divorce?and why haven't they done anything about the child support warrant I thought it was a felony? He lives in Ky I live in Tn the child support case is currently in Ky.

1 Lawyer Answer
Paul Ylvisaker
Paul Ylvisaker
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sierra Vista , AZ

A: Your questions require legal counsel to work through some of the issues you have raised. The answers provided here are general in nature and not legal advice.

Foremost, yes there is a way to get divorced even if you cannot find your spouse. The biggest issue in your case at the outset is service of process. Every state’s rules are a little different but you have to attempt to serve him with divorce petition in accordance with those rules. Again, an attorney is strongly advised for this.

With regards to the child support arrears and warrant, a child support arrest warrant is passive. He has to be picked up or stopped for any reason and a search of outstanding warrants will usually show in the search. Essentially you have to wait for him to do something that requires the police involvement.

There are a couple of things you can do to help yourself:

If you qualify, you may be able to enlist the legal services of your states legal services agency. Every state has different requirements to qualify for these services, but they are all income based decisions.

Stay in touch with the child support services agency that handled the child support matter. They have the best resources to track down his whereabouts, whether it by employment or if he is incarcerated.

Good luck.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.