Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide


Can a spouse refuse to sign divorce papers


Your spouse can refuse to sign the divorce papers. In such cases, the divorce process may go on but will be delayed. Refusal to sign the divorce papers may be due to your spouse not agreeing to the stipulated agreement. You can make some compromises and revise the agreement in such cases. In this case, both the parties for divorce can sign the papers and go ahead with the divorce. In case the reason for your spouse not signing the divorce papers is that he/she does not want to end the marriage then, things may be difficult.

Generally, when a divorce is filed, both the spouses are aware of it. If one of them does not agree and refuse to sign the papers, then the divorce is known as contested divorce. In such cases, the divorce needs to be filed in the court.

You will need to do everything properly to have the spouse serve the necessary documents. The time for reply depends on the laws in your state. In case your spouse does not reply, you can proceed with the default divorce. Each state has certain rules about default divorce. In some states the period for a response is 30 days, while it is 90 days for some. You will have to put notice in the papers and make reasonable efforts to contact before you enter the courtroom. The matter is taken to the court for hearing and may lead to a trial.

Every state has a no fault divorce. In these cases, there is no blame attributed to any spouse. The actions of the individuals getting this divorce are not considered during a divorce settlement.

The refusal of your spouse to sign the divorce papers in case of a no fault divorce will not stop the process in any way. In a fault state, there is a need of trial. Reasons for divorce may vary from state to state. Some reasons recognized in one state may not be recognized in another state. In general, there are two accepted rounds for divorce. Irreconcilable differences and separation.

Tips to finalize a divorce in case your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers:

  1. Make sure you have filed all the appropriate paper work and have stamped copies and notarized affirming the dates of the documents you submitted
  2. File the application for default. Send a copy to your spouse and get all the mailed paper work notarized. All mails should be send by certified mail with signature required and a return receipt
  3. If you have a minor child, complete a parent education course. Take the tuition receipt and file the certification of completion with the court
  4. During your scheduled day, carry all the paperwork with you for the hearing. Make double sure all the copies are filled completely
  5. Include domestic default cover sheet, child support order, order of assignment, fact sheet and decree of dissolution of marriage
  6. See if there are additional requirements for your state application for divorce
  7. In case your spouse files any papers in court, stop your efforts and get legal counsel. In this case, default finalization may not be granted as your spouse has responded to your actions.


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