What Can I Do When My Ex Won’t Sign the Divorce Papers?

January 17, 2023

We all hope marriage will last forever, but it sometimes ends in divorce. That does not mean that the marriage failed, simply that the two parties can no longer live peacefully as a married couple. When one party does not want to sign the divorce papers, there are things that you can do to move the proceedings forward and resolve the divorce decree.

Can You Get a Divorce Without Your Spouse’s Cooperation?

You can get a divorce without both parties signing and agreeing to the divorce. What this is called is a contested divorce. This means that one party did not agree to the divorce and did not want it to go through. A contested divorce can still be finalized, and both parties can still be technically unmarried, but if a divorce is contested, there are a few more things that you will have to do.

In most cases, when a divorce is contested, you are going to be able to dissolve the marriage, but you will have to come back later and settle things like spousal support, alimony, child support, child custody, and division of assets if you have any after the marriage is over. This also means that both parties will have to go back later to settle any other things left after the divorce is final.

Rules on Default Divorces Vary

Depending on what state you live in, the rules for a default divorce may vary. A divorce by default means that the divorce is going to go through because one party failed to put in their response to the divorce decree. There are a number of reasons someone might not respond to their divorce proceedings. They may not be aware of them, they may not want to deal with the divorce, or they might not want the divorce to go through.

If one party ignores the divorce papers long enough, they may be served with a default divorce. These are good if you just want the divorce to go through and you want it to be over with. Of course, if there are other things to consider, like children or property, you will have to go back and work out that part of the divorce later.

If you are unsure what the rules of default divorce are in your state, you do need to take the time to talk with an attorney and figure out what you can do and what the terms of a default divorce are for you.  

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