What Can You Do if Your Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers?
It’s not uncommon for one spouse to have reservations about signing divorce papers, even when the other spouse is completely through with them and no longer wants to be involved in the marriage. This affords them a tiny bit of leverage insofar as they can make the divorce take longer before the court dissolves the matter. Otherwise, their consent isn’t necessary to dissolve the marriage. In Florida, only one spouse needs to say that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Even in cases where the spouse being served the papers attempts to hide from the service of the papers, judges, depending on the circumstances, will grant default divorces or uncontested divorces in those situations.
Uncontested divorce remains the least stressful option for dissolving a marriage. But in order to qualify for an uncontested divorce, both spouses must agree to all issues related to property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. In cases where there are children, the process will take longer, even uncontested. The court will need to review all issues related to custody and child support to ensure that the best interests of the children are met. If your spouse refuses to sign the final divorce papers, the judge may grant you the option of proceeding as if the divorce is uncontested.
Otherwise, you can petition the court to enter a default judgment against the other spouse for willfully failing to respond to the divorce complaint. When you file a petition for divorce, you are expected to serve the other spouse with papers. If they are hiding or otherwise attempting to skirt the issue, the court may assign a 30-day period during which they have to respond. If they fail to respond within that 30-day period, then the court will enter a default judgment against the other spouse. These methods, of course, are superior to coercing the matter at gunpoint.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney Today
If you’re having trouble with your former spouse, the West Palm Beach divorce attorneys at the office of Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates can help. Talk to us today for more information.