I think it to be pretty obvious – you can’t be married to two people at the same time. So, our client marries a guy from New Zealand. After the marriage, she learns that he has a wife back home on the island. She came to us for an annulment. That’s not an annulment, that is a void marriage. A marriage that never existed because it is against the law to have two marriages at the same time. We proved it up last week.
Note – in all lawsuits service of process is required. That is fundamental. It is a matter of Constitutional importance. Without service of process there is no due process. Our client had no idea where the New Zealander was. After she confronted him about his other marriage and three kids by that relationship, he went back home and has not been heard from since. We served him by “posting.” The citation was posted at the court house door.
How do you get service by posting? The first element, there has to be very little at stake, i.e., you cannot have children or property. Secondly, you have to make some effort to locate the other party – look through social media accounts, contact relatives or friends if possible, look in various online directories, etc. Third, sign an affidavit that you have made a diligent effort to locate the other party, your effort has been unsuccessful and that there are no children born of the marriage and no property obtained during the marriage (if you have children or property a guardian ad litem is required). After the motion is filed with the court, you then present an order to the court authorizing the service by posting. At that juncture, the clerk of the court will post the citation to the court house door. After 30 days, the citation will be returned and the case can be proved up by default.