Your spouse – and even you, for that matter – doesn’t have to sign divorce papers when served to finalize the divorce. That said, it’s a common myth that refusing to sign can stop or even slow the divorce process. This isn’t necessarily true, and someone who refuses to sign under that assumption may put their interests in the divorce at stake.
What Happens When Someone Doesn’t Respond to the Divorce Petition?
If your spouse ignores your divorce petition after being served, your spouse risks a default judgment in the divorce. You can still finalize your divorce when the other party won’t sign, but you must file an affidavit in court to prove you served your spouse with due diligence, and they failed to respond.
Because your spouse is uncooperative but not missing, essential aspects of your divorce such as property division, child support, and alimony may be ordered. Child custody may depend on other factors, primarily those that concern the child’s best interests.
Why Do People Refuse to Sign Divorce Papers?
When someone refuses to sign divorce papers, they typically have personal motivations for doing so. These can range from denial to spite or even fraud.
In many cases, however, someone who refuses to sign often does so because they don’t think divorce is necessary or don’t agree with the terms of the divorce. The last of these reasons is unfortunate because dropping out of the divorce process won’t help someone address their concerns if they feel something is unfair.
What Should I Do If My Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers?
The best thing to do when your spouse won’t sign the divorce papers is to seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney. Only with help from a legal professional can you have the confidence you need to understand your legal options for moving forward.
Proceeding with your divorce can mean mediation, a trial, or receiving a default judgment. Regardless of the path it takes to help you reach the other side of divorce, however, Kay Polk, Attorney at Law can help you get there.
Learn more during an initial consultation. Contact us online to get started.