You’ve been in an unhappy marriage for years. You and your spouse constantly fight over everything. Any connection that was once there is now long gone.
You are chomping at the bit to escape this miserable partnership (and I use the word sparingly) and move on with your life. Oops. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, you’ve started filing for divorce but your spouse (whom by now you live apart from) will not budge. For some strange reason, they refuse to have a divorce.
What are we going to do now?
According to Dash Divorce, a service that sells online divorce forms in Pennsylvania, there are times when one party doesn’t have the same vision as the other with regards to the situation and flat-out refuse to sign the divorce papers. Perhaps that person is stalling to receive more money from a settlement or wants to remain married (you’re going to have to fight to get rid of this one).
By law, one spouse cannot prevent the other from getting a divorce. If in doubt, Mr. Blank advises speaking to a lawyer skilled in the art of family and divorce law.
Let’s talk about contested divorce
Should you find yourself in this stressful predicament, go for a contested divorce. Your first step involves filing a petition in family court in whatever county you reside. Looking for some free legal advice? Click here: https://family-law.freeadvice.com/family-law/divorce_law/spouse-refuses-to-sign-divorce-papers.htm
Only you (or I) are required to sign the divorce petition. This being said, the process is null and void if our not-so-significant others don’t get served the papers, usually by the county sheriff or private process server. In other words, it’s vital for them to be notified, even if they are obstinate and making your life more difficult than it already is.
Fault Divorce is often the result of a bitter ex-spouse refusing to sign those papers. There are reasons for filing for fault divorce (most notably marital property). You can obtain a fault divorce regardless if the other party has signed the papers.
Frequently, a spouse will be hesitant to sign the divorce papers because they don’t understand the legal language and the accusations launched by the other party. This can be avoided by filing under no-fault grounds.
Looking at the no-fault option
No-fault divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences is available in all 50 states of the union. Due to customary mudslinging and wrangling that takes often causes one spouse to refuse the sign, many folks today prefer this option. You don’t even have to give any specific reasons for the divorce when going no-fault.
A word on no-fault divorce: Since the rules vary around the country, here is an educational tutorial explaining how the process works in each state:
Here is some other useful advice for when your spouse won’t sign the divorce papers
Why does your ex refuse to sign the papers? Have the both of you met to discuss the reasons for specific requests he or she has? As stated by Brian Connelly in this article published on June 13, 2017, for Livestrong.com: http://www.livestrong.com/article/141317-how-obtain-divorce-when-spouse-refuses-sign-divorce-papers/ it’s a very good idea.
Once this rough patch is smoothed out (hopefully your spouse has at least agreed to sign the papers) learn the procedure for filing a petition against him/her.
A final word on the topic
So getting your ex-spouse to sign the damn forms has been like getting blood from a stone. You’re tired and simply want the whole matter over and done with. Even if you go the no-fault route (http://thelawdictionary.org/article/what-happens-if-a-person-refuses-to-sign-divorce-papers) , there’s no guarantee this person still won’t be cooperative (why would they start now?) When two parties can’t agree on the terms of a divorce settlement, things have to get worked out in a court hearing.