What Happens if Your Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers?
Your wife just refuses to believe the marriage is over. You have been fighting constantly for the past few years and it’s gotten to the point that you don’t want to be in the same room as her. You have brought up divorce several times now but every time you start discussing, your wife leaves the conversation abruptly. You finally can’t take it anymore. You pack up your stuff and leave the house. You retain an attorney and file for divorce. The papers are sent to your spouse and you wait. And you wait some more. And then wait even more. But she refuses to sign. Now what?
Divorce is never easy. There are no winners or losers. Everyone is hurt and no one is entirely happy with the outcome. But the alternative, an unhappy marriage, is much worse. Unfortunately, some people don’t see it this way and hope that the situation improves, even after being delivered divorce papers. However, with one spouse refusing to sign can make the situation harder for the other spouse. The court may dismiss the case if action is not taken after a time. So what can you do?
If your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, there are options available to you. You can request a default divorce. If you serve your spouse with the proper papers, but he/she failed to respond within 35 days, you do have the ability to enter a default along with a proposed judgment. You have 60 days to file this request. The court will then set a hearing date and ask both you and your spouse to appear. At the hearing, the judge can issue a ruling depending on what is stated in the divorce petition or what you have proved in court.
But what happens if your spouse refuses to show up at the hearing? Then he/she is essentially giving up the right to have any say in the divorce or in the court judgment.
But be careful — it’s difficult to stop or vacate a default divorce. You must really be active in order to choose this option. Your best bet is to discuss your options with an experienced New Jersey divorce attorney.
If your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, then it’s time for action. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.