What Do I Do if My Spouse Doesn’t Sign Divorce Papers?

A man and a woman in business attire are sitting on a couch and removing their wedding rings.

You can file for divorce, even if your spouse doesn’t agree with the divorce and refuses to sign the divorce decree. If you want a divorce, you can get divorced without the other spouse participating in the suit.

Why Won’t Your Spouse Sign the Divorce Papers?

Spouses may believe that their refusal to sign could effectively stop the divorce in its tracks, when in reality it simply complicates the process, but doesn’t end it. Spouses commonly refuse to sign because:

  • They fear being financially harmed.
  • They disagree on the decision to get divorced.
  • They are in denial about the termination of the relationship.
  • They are afraid of how their family, community, or culture will judge them.
  • They do not want to admit any fault in the break up.
  • They want to stay married to keep controlling their spouse’s life.

A conversation may lead to a settlement discussion, but when they refuse to discuss divorce at all, attempts to settle won’t accomplish much. This is where our divorce attorney can step in and represent you in your contested divorce.

What Can I Do?

You can file for divorce without the other party’s consent. You can get divorced over your spouse’s objection. An attorney can help to either help you reach your spouse negotiate or make sure you follow all the rules to qualify for a default divorce.

Default Divorce

A default divorce is when the court grants your divorce without the other party participating. That can happen if you hire a process server to serve the appropriate divorce papers and your spouse fails to timely respond to the court, or if they do respond but fail to appear at the final trial. Either way, the divorce will still be granted, and you will still be divorced.

There are some risks with doing a default divorce. One inherent risk is that your spouse could come back later and ask the judge to strike the divorce and reopen the case for a new trial. The other spouse only has 30 days from the date of the final judgment to file a motion for new trial. If that is denied, it is possible for the defaulted spouse to file an appeal within certain post-trial deadlines which can drag the legal issues out months on end.

However, if your spouse does not contest the divorce ruling within the requisite deadlines, your divorce could become final with no recourse from the defaulted party.

Camille Borg Law, PLLC can help you through your divorce regardless of your spouse’s willingness to sign the papers. Reach out to our firm to get started.

Contact Camille Borg Law, PLLC for more information on how to proceed with your divorce.

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