When you file for divorce, your spouse is given paperwork to sign and submit. You may be worried that they won’t do it. Perhaps they’ve even told you that they’re not going to sign because they don’t want to get divorced.
Don’t be concerned. While things are often easier when both spouses are on the same page, you can still get a divorce even when they won’t sign. They cannot in any way prevent you from ending your marriage. What you need is a default divorce ruling from the court.
What is a default ruling?
This is a ruling granting your divorce and defaulting to the terms you requested. What many people don’t realize when they refuse to respond to divorce paperwork is that failing to do so limits their legal ability to fight for their own terms. The ball is in your court and you may actually get more of what you wanted out of the split than if your spouse had cooperated.
There are still downsides, of course, to this method of divorce. One of the main ones is that it can take a long time — months, in some cases — for the court to move forward without your spouse’s cooperation. If you wanted a quick divorce, you’re not going to get it.
The upside, though, is that the actual court process may be far faster. Without your spouse also in court to debate over the proper outcome, that process moves quickly. You may make up the time you spent waiting for the default ruling initially.
Moving forward with your divorce
If your spouse won’t even answer the divorce papers, you’re in a complicated situation, and you must know exactly what steps to take moving forward. Speaking with a family law attorney and explaining your situation is the next step you should consider.