WHAT HAPPENS IF MY SPOUSE REFUSES TO SIGN THE DIVORCE PAPERS

Does My Spouse Have to Sign The Divorce Papers for the Divorce to Go Through?

Short answer: no, your spouse does not have to sign the divorce papers for your divorce to be finalized. In Texas, one spouse refusing to sign divorce papers does not completely stop a divorce from proceeding.

If one spouse is seeking a divorce, they can still achieve it whether or not the other spouse cooperates and signs the papers. 

What If My Spouse Doesn’t Respond to the Divorce Petition?

Once you file your petition with the court to begin your divorce, you will need to serve your spouse with a copy. If your spouse ignores the petition and does not respond, your spouse will “default.” Once this is presented to a judge, they can make decisions on essential divorce details without your spouse, including child support and alimony.

The Spouse Does Not Agree with the Terms of the Divorce

In many cases, the other spouse refuses to sign divorce papers because they disagree with the terms set forth. If this is your situation, you will likely need to take your case before a judge to resolve it

Legal Options When Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers in Texas

Once your spouse decides they are not going to cooperate, your divorce is considered a “contested divorce.” While it can be extremely trying to experience the divorce process with an unwilling spouse, there are legal options. The best one for you may depend on your specific situation.

Mediation

Mediation can be a fantastic option for spouses not seeing eye to eye. During mediation, both parties sit down with a mediator—a neutral third party.

The mediator facilitates discussion between the spouses in hopes of resolving the issues at hand and reaching an amicable agreement. If both parties can reach an agreement, the divorce will not have to go to court.

Trial

While most couples try to avoid trial, in some cases it is necessary. A trial can be costly and time-consuming, but depending on your situation, it may be the best course of action. 

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