My Spouse Refuses To Sign Divorce Papers: What Can I Do?
It is not uncommon for one or both spouses to be reluctant to file for divorce even when both of them understand that their marriage is falling apart. Often, one spouse files a petition for divorce, but the other one refuses to sign divorce papers.
What happens in that situation? Does a spouse’s refusal to sign divorce papers mean that the marriage cannot be dissolved? The short answer is “No.” In Florida, you do not need your spouse’s consent to end your marriage.
In fact, since Florida is a no-fault divorce state, you do not even need to prove your spouse’s fault to file for divorce. All you need is to state that your marriage is irretrievably broken.
Why a Spouse May Refuse to Sign Divorce Papers
There are several reasons why the Respondent spouse may refuse to accept or sign divorce papers. The most common reasons are:
- Your spouse is just trying to make things more complicated for you;
- Your spouse may believe that their refusal to sign divorce papers will prevent you from getting a divorce; and
- Your spouse may use their refusal to sign divorce papers as “leverage” against you.
No matter why your spouse does not want to sign divorce papers, it is essential to contact a skilled attorney to help you move forward with your divorce case. Your spouse’s refusal may complicate things, but it will certainly not prevent you from obtaining a divorce.
If your spouse avoids being served divorce papers, the court may eventually grant a default divorce in your favor. Basically, it means that the judge will finalize your divorce even if your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers or avoids being served.
How to Get a Default Divorce in Florida?
As mentioned earlier, the court will grant a default divorce if your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers. The process of getting a default divorce includes the following steps:
- Collect all necessary documents for your divorce case and file a petition for divorce with the court;
- Once the petition has been filed, your spouse will be served divorce papers;
- Your spouse has 20 days to file a response to your divorce petition;
- If your spouse does not respond within 20 days, you can file a motion with the court asking to grant a default divorce along with a proposed judgment;
- The judge will review your request and proposed judgment; and
- You will appear in front of the judge in the absence of your spouse to obtain the divorce decree.
While it may seem that you do not need a lawyer to represent you in your default divorce case, you could actually benefit from consulting with a skilled attorney.
Speak with an Orlando Divorce Lawyer
An Orlando divorce lawyer will advise you on your options if your spouse is refusing to sign divorce papers, avoiding service, or cannot be located. Schedule a consultation with our results-driven divorce lawyer at Arwani Law Firm to discuss your unique situation. Call 407-254-0060 to protect your rights and help you obtain a divorce despite your spouse’s refusal to sign divorce papers.