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What Happens if My Spouse Won't Sign the Divorce Papers?

Two wedding rings beside a judge's gable on a wooden table.

Divorce, even when amicable, can be a difficult and contentious situation. In circumstances where spouses cannot agree to a divorce, however, it can become even more problematic. While a spouse can certainly make the divorce process drag on, he or she cannot prevent it from happening by refusing to sign the divorce papers.

A Resisting Spouse

In addition to refusing to sign divorce papers, some spouses might hide in order to avoid being served the necessary paperwork. These tactics, while inconvenient, will not stop a divorce from moving forward if the other spouse wants out of a marriage.

If the filing spouse serves the divorce petition the other spouse refuses to sign off on the final divorce papers, some states may allow the case to proceed as an uncontested divorce. The court would enter orders based on the divorce petition and the response.

Request to Enter a Default

Some states allow those with resisting spouses to file a request to enter a default if the spouse fails to respond within 30 days after being served, or if the spouse cannot be located for service.

Following this request, the court will set a hearing date at which the filing spouse is required to appear. During this hearing, the judge might issue a ruling based on the demands originally stated in the divorce petition, such as issues regarding child custody or property division. If the other spouse fails to appear, he or she gives up the right to say anything in the divorce proceeding or judgment.

Rancho Cucamonga Divorce Lawyer

Dissolving a marriage is often an emotional and challenging process. At Chung & Ignacio, LLP, we understand the divorce process and are ready to advocate on your behalf. With us at your side, you can rest assured that your divorce is in qualified and trusted hands.

Call us today at (909) 726-7112 for a free consultation.