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Navigating divorce: When a spouse refuses to sign papers

On Behalf of | May 20, 2023 | Divorce

Initiating a divorce is a challenging process, both emotionally and legally. It can become even more complex when a spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers. This refusal can delay the proceedings and make the process more stressful.

However, it is important to know that you have options. Learn what to do if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers.

Understanding the implications

When a spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, it does not mean the divorce process comes to a halt. In fact, the refusal can only delay the proceedings, but it cannot stop the divorce from eventually taking place.

File for a default judgment

If your spouse refuses to respond to the divorce petition within the legal timeframe, you can file for a default judgment. This allows the court to proceed with the divorce without the participation of the non-responding spouse. The court can make decisions regarding property division, child custody and spousal support based on the information you provided in the divorce petition.

Request a divorce trial

If a default judgment is not an option, you can request a divorce trial. In a divorce trial, both parties have the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence to a judge, who then makes the final decisions regarding the divorce terms.

Try mediation

Another option is to try mediation. A neutral third party helps both spouses communicate and negotiate the terms of the divorce. Even if your spouse initially refused to sign the divorce papers, they might be more willing to cooperate through mediation.

While a spouse’s refusal to sign divorce papers can add stress to an already difficult situation, it is important to remember that you can navigate this challenging situation and continue with the divorce proceedings. It is crucial to stay patient and persistent, protecting your rights and interests throughout the process.