What To Do When Your Ex-Spouse Refuses To Sign Divorce Papers

You've sent the divorce papers, but your ex-spouse refuses to sign them. Your ex-spouse could refuse to sign the papers to anger you, or perhaps they don't understand them. Regardless of the reason they refuse to sign papers, they cannot stop you from getting a divorce. Here is how to get a divorce even when your ex-spouse refuses to sign the papers.

Opt for No-Fault Divorce

Divorces commonly start with a separation, but a separation agreement isn't granted by courts, and it cannot be forced upon an unwilling party. In this case, a good option is no-fault divorce. In the past, couples had to give a legal reason for divorce, such as adultery or abandonment, but now all 50 states allow no-fault divorce.

A no-fault divorce, or uncontested divorce, means there are no grounds for the divorce. It doesn't place blame on either party, which gives your ex-spouse no reason to contest the reason. A fault divorce often causes confusion because of the language or accusations.

It may also help to notify your spouse of your intention of filing a no-fault divorce to prevent surprises. Be aware you could be waiting up to two years before you are granted a no-fault divorce, which gives couples time to work on a possible reconciliation.

File the Papers

Obtain a divorce petition or complaint from your local court or from their website, and check no-fault divorce. Find out where you file the papers in your jurisdiction. Submit the papers, and get a summons from the court clerk. The summons is one page, and it instructs your ex-spouse on how long they have to respond to the papers.

Request that the sheriff or private process server deliver the papers. The process server or sheriff signs the proof of service document, and files it with the court, letting you know your spouse received the forms.

Seek a Default Divorce

If your spouse does not respond to the papers, or show for the scheduled hearing, consult your family law attorney about a default divorce judgment. A default divorce judgment means as the name implies.

Your spouse didn't follow the rules, so the judge will likely rule in your favor. The spouse waives their right to have any say by failing to sign the papers, and this means your divorce terms will be upheld by the court.

You may choose to represent yourself, divorce law is complex, especially with an uncooperative spouse. A family lawyer can help you navigate the process better, and get the outcome you want. To learn more, speak with someone like Law Office Of Ernest A Buche Jr.