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Orange County Family Law Attorney

What To Do If Your Spouse Refuses to Sign the Divorce Papers

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Getting divorced is hard enough, but when you’re attempting to divorce an uncooperative spouse, it can seem like a losing battle. If you are dealing with a spouse that refuses to sign the divorce papers, there are actions you can take to further your case.

What To Do When Your Spouse Won’t Sign the Divorce Papers:

  1. You Do Not Need Your Spouse’s Consent to Get Divorced: Uncontested or consensual divorces may be easier, but they aren’t necessarily the norm. If your spouse won’t actively cooperate or give their “consent” to the divorce that does not mean that you cannot get divorced. You have the right to file for a divorce in a court with jurisdiction over your marriage, serve your spouse with divorce papers, and seek a divorce with or without their permission.
  2. Did Your Spouse File a Response? After the divorce papers were served to your spouse, did they file an uncontested response in court? If they did so, and later refused to sign the divorce papers, talk to an experienced divorce attorney about the option to proceed forward with an uncontested divorce. If the spouse did not contest the divorce or any specific issues in their response to your divorce complaint, the judge could allow an uncontested divorce to proceed. If this is not the case, you can still proceed with a contested divorce.
  3. Did Your Spouse Also Refuse to Respond to the Divorce Complaint? If your spouse failed to file a written response with the court after receiving the divorce complaint, your divorce attorney may file a motion for default judgment. If they fail to attend the hearing date that the judge schedules for the case, the judge can enter a divorce order based on the facts in the original divorce complaint.
  4. Do Not Delay Your Divorce: Don’t assume that your spouse’s “refusal” to get divorced needs to delay the proceedings. Do not let it intimidate you into putting the divorce on hold. The only way a spouse can actually delay a divorce is through active participation in the proceedings and arguing issues related to the divorce. Contentious divorces can take months or years to finalize, but a refusal to participate can actually lead to a speedy resolution.

If you have questions about how to obtain a divorce in California or if you are working with an uncooperative spouse and aren’t sure how to obtain your final divorce decree, get in touch with one of the experienced California divorce attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today. We have the experience you need on your side.



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