Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“My mother in law has not seen her husband in about 20 years and wants to know if he has divorced her in that time…She lived in MA. and now lives in FL. How would she find out that info? Thank you very much in advance.”There are services that can be engaged to search every Court in every jurisdiction to see if the parties (the name of your mother in law and her husband) have ever been involved in a legal action. If a country-wide search does not turn up anything, that may either be because there was no divorce filed or the divorce occurred prior to the widespread use of computer reporting. If a search does not uncover anything, she might consider filing it herself to be sure. Two marriages is bigamy. A second divorce where she had no actual knowledge of the first would not be a crime.
Question: The other thing she might do is hire someone to find him – do a skip trace – and ask him. If there are relatives he may have stayed in touch with who she might know, that information would be helpful to an investigator. Sometimes schools he attended might keep records of alumni whereabouts.
If she can’t or does not want to find him, and wants to be sure she is divorced, she is within her rights to file for one.