What If My Spouse Refuses To Sign Our Divorce Papers?
Failing to sign divorce papers does have consequences, as it can delay the finalization of your divorce. Courts will not, however, make someone stay married just because his or her spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers. While it can make the process a lot more time-consuming and frustrating, a person can still get divorced despite a spouse’s intransigence and refusal to participate in the process, although he or she will need to take certain steps. If your own spouse won’t sign your divorce papers, you could benefit from the assistance of an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer, who can help you assert your legal rights.
Why a Spouse Might Refuse to Sign
There are a lot of reasons why a person might refuse to sign divorce papers, but in most cases, such a refusal can be linked to:
- The refusing spouse’s attempt to make things more difficult for the other party;
- One spouse’s belief that refusing to sign will allow the parties to stay together or provide a chance for reconciliation;
- A spouse’s attempt to retaliate against the petitioning spouse; or
- One spouse’s belief that refusing to sign will force the other party to meet his or her unfair demands.
Regardless of a person’s reasons for failing to sign divorce papers, these refusals can make the divorce process much more complicated. Fortunately, there are steps that a petitioner can take to force the divorce to proceed and eventually become finalized.
If one spouse refuses to go any further with divorce proceedings, a judge could intervene and let the parties go forward as though the divorce were uncontested. This is not, however, possible if the parties share children or if one spouse is seeking alimony, in which case, a judge will step in and make a decision on the parties’ behalf. A child custody agreement would, for instance, reflect what the judge believes would be in the child’s best interests. Another option is to petition the court and ask it to enter a default judgment against the non-responding spouse. In these cases, the other spouse will have 30 days to answer the court’s petition and if he or she fails to do so, the petitioning spouse can be granted a default judgment and a finalized divorce. To learn more about either of these options, don’t hesitate to reach out to our legal team today.
Contact an Experienced Florida Divorce Lawyer
If you’re ready to proceed with your divorce, but your spouse isn’t, you are probably feeling frustrated and isolated. You do not, however, have to go through this process alone. To learn more about your potential options, call dedicated Florida divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today at 954-945-7591. You cannot be forced to stay in a marriage, so if you need help either initiating divorce proceedings, or concluding them despite your spouse’s refusal to participate, reach out to our experienced legal team today. We are standing by to help you with your divorce-related questions and concerns.