What If My Spouse Won’t Sign the Divorce Papers?
What if my spouse won’t sign the divorce papers? Although you desperately want to divorce your spouse, there has been a reluctance by your spouse to accept that the marriage is over. Instead of cooperating with your efforts to end things, you find the matter being dragged out with suggestions of counseling, promises for changes, and pleadings for one more chance. In your mind, it has been going on for a long time. If your spouse won’t sign the divorce papers can they keep you trapped in a miserable marriage?
Spouse Won’t Sign and No-Fault Divorce
In the old days, it was not uncommon for one spouse to prevent another from going through with a divorce. That was back when it was required that one party prove the other had committed a transgression that constituted grounds for divorce. Finding evidence of adultery, for example, was often time-consuming and expensive, if not impossible, leading unhappy spouses trapped with a cheater who would neither admit to the behavior nor grant a divorce. Nowadays no-fault divorce takes the blame out of splitting, which means the days of having to prove the foibles of a spouse are long behind us. While your spouse might cause some delays, you can ultimately get the divorce you want.
Documents That Need to Be Addressed
The first thing your spouse will need to sign is the response to the petition for divorce, which must be returned to the court within 30 days. If your spouse won’t sign and ignores this document, it can result in the court making decisions without the opinions of your spouse being considered. Issues such as property division, alimony, and other important matters will not be addressed with an absent spouse’s viewpoint in mind. In the same way, failure to turn in an income/expense declaration means that the court will rely solely on the information you provide.
Ultimately, the final settlement agreement requires a signature by both partners. This document outlines the details of property division, child custody and support, and any other issues related to the ending of the marriage. Again, if your spouse fails to sign these documents, it simply means the judge will have no choice other than to decide on the issues based on the information you have provided, making decisions within the parameters of California divorce law. Assets will still need to be equally divided, and the best interests of children always prevail.
If your spouse never signs any court documents, your no-fault divorce will ultimately be granted by default. If the divorce is contested, you will either come to a settlement agreed to by both parties, or will go to trial, where a judge will make the final decisions.
Advocating for You
Whatever your situation, having the experienced legal team at Beck Law P.C., by your side will ensure that your interests are protected and, if necessary, fought for in court. If you live in Sonoma County, Mendocino County or Lake County California, contact our Santa Rosa office today to discuss your situation.