WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR SPOUSE WILL NOT SIGN DIVORCE PAPERS?
Divorce is a difficult time and it is to be expected that sometimes issues arise during the process. An uncontested divorce is the main goal for most couples that are ready to move on, but this route doesn’t always go as planned. One of the biggest difficulties during a the process is when a spouse refuses to sign divorce papers. Understanding some of the key reasons why this occurs and how to approach the situation is important to move towards your desired resolution.
Sometimes getting a spouse to sign can be difficult. Here are some of the most common excuses that frustrated spouses may face.
If I Don’t Sign, We Can’t Get Divorced!-
Some people believe that both spouses have to absolutely agree in order to get divorced. In all honesty, it really only takes one person to get the deal done.
They Have a Financial Advantage to Stay Married-
Sometimes a spouse won’t agree to sign documents because they are financially dependent on the divorcing party. Sadly, money can be a large motivation to stay in a marriage that isn’t working. This permanent step changes every aspect of both party’s lives. Try your best to work out any financial agreements with your spouse and prepare for the inevitable process of dividing your marital assets.
Denial can be a huge reason for your spouse’s refusal to sign important documents. However, keep in mind, that this is one of the many stages of grief. If you are truly ready to be out of this marriage, give your spouse some time to accept the divorce and then approach them again with the papers.
WAYS TO RESOLVE A STUBBORN SPOUSE
Request to Enter a Default
If you simply can’t get your spouse to sign the divorce papers even after properly serving them. You can request to enter a default which allows you to set a hearing date if the served spouse fails to respond to the papers within a statutory set number of days. This hearing will allow the court to issue your divorce orders and judgment.
If your spouse does file an answer to the court within the legal time period, then this would be considered contested divorce. This now means that any remaining issues (if any) after negotiations and mediations would be resolved at a court hearing. At this contested hearing the court may decide final issues like:
- Property division,
- Debt division,
- Child Support,
- Tax liabilities,
- And alimony.