Divorce Issues

What happens If someone refuses to sign divorce papers

What happens If someone refuses to sign divorce papers
Written by divorcelap

By far the most amicable divorces can be emotionally draining and exhausting to go through. However, if your partner refuses to sign the divorce documents, things will get even more complicated and painful for you.

Do you want to know what happens if your spouse won’t sign divorce papers? Are you interested in the consequences that can lead to not signing divorce papers?

If the answer to both of these questions is positivity, then you have gone for the right-click.

Just read the article What happens If spouse won’t sign divorce papers? All your inquiries about divorce are going to be answered.

What happens if someone refuses to sign divorce papers?

When you’ve decided to divorce, you’re probably eager to get started on a new chapter in your life. When your partner digs in their heels and refuses to sign the papers, you can feel enraged, puzzled, and anxious to get things moving. 

If you find yourself in this situation, here’s what you should do next.

Also Check: How much was tiger Woods divorce?

Why aren’t they signing the document?

First and foremost, it’s important to try to comprehend why your partner is refusing to sign. This behavior may be motivated by a variety of factors. Are they hoping to save your marriage by working things out?

Sitting down and simply communicating to your partner that you are no longer happy in your marriage can be enough to convince them to sign.

Are they trying to use your resistance as a bargaining chip to get you to hand over those properties or child custody?

Some people believe that refusing to sign would give them control over their partner, causing the other side to make concessions just to get the divorce over with.

Don’t succumb to their manipulations if you believe this is their inspiration. Consult your lawyer for advice on how to proceed.

Another popular explanation for a partner refusing to sign divorce papers is to make it more complicated for their spouse. Divorces may bring out the worst in people, and a spouse can refuse to sign the paperwork for some time just to trigger a snag.

Despite the fact that it is a petty act, both partners normally sign the paperwork in the end because it is clear that none of them is content.

Why is it important to know your spouse’s motivations? Simply put, understanding why they are refusing to sign will help you determine the best course of action to take.

What your partner is trying to accomplish by refusing to sign the paperwork will determine if you can either sit down and speak, wait it out, or draw a hard line with negotiations.

Also Check: Questions a divorce lawyer will ask

Is it Even Possible to Divorce?

You could be panicking and worrying whether you should even get a divorce or if you’re trapped in the marriage because your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers.

The good news is that most states are “no-fault” states, which means you won’t have to show that one of your spouses did anything wrong to cause the divorce.

Rather, simply state that you believe the marriage is irreparably broken and proceed to apply for divorce.

Simply file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the courts with the help of your divorce attorney. This can be achieved without the signature of a partner.

A process server can serve the paperwork to the partner after it has been filed. After that, the partner will have 20 days to respond to the court.

It will be in their best interests for them to eventually respond to your filing at this point; if they do not respond within 20 days, the court will rule the divorce uncontested.

If your partner fails to respond, a judge will hold a default hearing on your uncontested divorce. You must appear in court to seek the divorce in person; the court will then question you about property division and child custody issues.

If your spouse has still yet to appear at the default hearing, the court will usually grant the appropriate demands of whichever spouse has appeared. However, you can also seek legal advice on these issues.

Also Check: Should I Divorce My Wife For Cheating?

Signed divorce papers now what?

The next step in the process is to file the divorce papers with the court clerk’s office in the plaintiff’s county after the divorce papers have been signed and notarized or the time period for the defendant to answer has expired.

The answer to the question “How long does an uncontested divorce take?” is entirely out of the parties’ control once the papers have been filed with the court.

The time it takes to finalize the divorce by making a judge authorize and sign the judgment varies from six weeks to twelve months.

In some countries, there may be a waiting period after the divorce judgment is signed during which no party will remarry. This is when any party will file an appeal against the divorce decision. 

Your lawyer will be able to tell you whether this clause applies to your situation.

Also Check: Surviving divorce after a long marriage

Do I have to sign divorce papers?

If the other party refuses to sign the initial divorce documents, the individual seeking the divorce can still file it and continue with the initial petition, which does not require both parties signatures. 

Regardless of who tries to stop it or create issues, the case will begin without the consent of each partner.

Continue with the Divorce Process

In most cases, the parties do not need to sign the divorce documents in order to proceed.

There’s no need to make sure the other partner is on board with ending the marriage legally. However, if both partners are open to the process, it might be possible for them to work out their differences amicably.

Both spouses will review the initial petition and make amendments or challenges to ensure that the judge listens to and understands what each party wants out of the divorce process, such as marital property, child custody or visits, or which assets should remain separate and not community property.

Serving the Documents Legally

When the other partner refuses to sign the divorce petition, the person seeking the divorce must legally serve the papers on him or her.

Serving the papers may be done by anyone over the age of eighteen, but to ensure fair due process, it is usually done via the Sheriff’s Office or by a licensed process server.

The other spouse can use the regular mail system if the other spouse is deliberately attempting to escape the case by hiding or taking shelter in an unknown area. 

If all else fails, the partner seeking the divorce will use the local newspaper to print a notice with the approval of the court.


The other spouse does not respond to the petition or the lawsuit, but he or she may file a response but not engage in the proceedings. Any failure to react to or comply with required processes could result in complications or even a negative outcome. 

The judge has the authority to impose punishments on the partner, including holding him or her in contempt for his or her conduct.

This can go on until the individual completes the required acts or activities, such as attending mediation or arbitration before going to court or filing a lawsuit.

Divorce Final Documents

If the uncooperative conduct persists, the court will normally have to move forward with the case to see if any problems remain unresolved and how to fix them.

In this case, the court will hold a hearing. Unlike in a typical case where the sides sort out their differences, the judge will resolve all issues based on state law and any applicable guidelines.

This can help the partner who is seeking a divorce, but some issues can also benefit the other spouse, such as marital property and wealth separation.

Also Check: Wife Midlife Crisis Wants Divorce

What happens after divorce papers are signed?

You have not divorced until the judge signs the divorce decree, so don’t think you’re divorced just because 30 days have passed.

You’re not. You’ll need a copy of the divorce order because it can include crucial details like child custody and support responsibilities.

You should be able to obtain a copy at the court hearing or from the court clerk if you were unable to attend.

If your divorce is uncontested, there isn’t anything you can do to expedite the process. After serving your partner, you must wait at least 30 days. This irritates some people, but it is the rule.

If you’re going through a disputed divorce, you’ll have to wait a year or more to get divorced. This has been a long wait.

Gathering facts for the hearing and thoroughly fleshing out the points you’ll present to the judge may take that long. Many proceedings typically precede the big day in court in contested divorces.

Also Check: What Should a Woman Ask for in a Divorce Settlement?


In this article, we have discussed what happens if your spouse won’t sign divorce papers? provides all the information that explains what are the consequences when your spouse won’t sign divorce papers. What measures you can take after that and what happens after the divorce papers are signed?. 

Read this article to know all the answers to the questions above!

Also Check: Midlife Crisis in Men and Divorce

About the author


Leave a Comment