What To Do If Your Spouse Won't Sign Divorce Papers

Updated on October 25, 2022
Updated: October 21, 2022

Going through a divorce is never easy. It can be very painful to let go of a person or a relationship that you held near and dear for many years. While the process is already difficult to bear, it can be more challenging if one of the partners refuses or avoids signing the divorce papers. If you have exhausted all your options of talking them into it, you must acknowledge that you can make use of your legal options and get over the painful divorce process easily.

It is best to get legal advice from an experienced family law attorney and take the best decision in this difficult situation.

Do Both Spouses Have to Agree to Divorce?

To end the marriage, it is enough for one partner to make the decision to get a divorce. However, for the divorce to finalize, it is crucial for both partners to sign the divorce documents. They may refuse to sign the paper and then you will have to take legal action.

You can start with the process and file a petition for divorce. This is also called a complaint for divorce. This way you can get a contested divorce because there is no need for your spouse to give their signatures. However, if you want an uncontested divorce then they must sign the divorce paperwork. Both of these options come with their own problems but a skilled attorney can guide you the right way.

wedding ring on top of divorce papers, Spouse Won't Sign Divorce Papers

Can You Get a Divorce Without Your Spouse Knowing?

Judges do not appreciate one-sided divorces and this means that there are very few chances of you getting a one-sided divorce. You are required by law to bring it to your spouse's attention that you have drafted divorce papers and filed them in court. This gives your spouse a chance to respond to the papers.

Can You Get Divorced If You Can't Find Your Spouse?

There are cases when one spouse cannot find the other. if you are planning to file a divorce then you need to first arrange the petition of divorce and the rest of the paperwork so you can send it to your spouse. This is called the process server and there are instances where people have not been able to find their spouses and in that case, they can contact the court. 

The court will permit you to use other methods to notify your spouse that you have filed for divorce. All you need to show is that you have made a genuine effort to serve the papers and notify your spouse.  

The judge will make the decision for you as to which alternative method you should use. Ideally, the publication is the best way forward for your legal process. 

Related Content: Common Mistakes to Avoid During a Divorce

What Happens If Your Spouse Doesn't Respond to the Divorce Petition?

After you have served the divorce petition, your spouse has a time limit of 20-30 days to respond. If they fail to respond then you can go for a default divorce. The law and process of default divorces are different but generally, the process begins with you filing the petition and passing the waiting period without any response from your spouse. 

Once the time passes you will submit a proposed judgment of divorce to enter a default. Then the court will set up a divorce hearing and send a notice to your spouse. During the hearing, the judge will go through all the documents and depending on the case will give a default judgment. 

Here the court will also decide on things such as the property division, and child custody of minor children. It is important to be aware of the pros and cons of default divorce 

person signing divorce papers, Spouse Won't Sign Divorce Papers

Schedule a Free Consultation with Tommalieh Law Today

Every divorce lawyer will have different approaches to each case so it is best to contact the best divorce attorney for the best decisions in a divorce case. Divorce law attorneys at Tommalieh Law Today help you make the process simpler and submit the initial divorce petition. 

Our knowledgeable divorce attorneys listen to your case carefully and sort out messy divorces. All you need to do is contact us with your idea of divorce and we will give you the best professional advice we can. 

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