If you are going through a divorce, you might find that your spouse is refusing to sign the divorce papers. Such cases are common due to reasons such as spite or your spouse isn't ready to give up on your marriage. Divorce is never easy for any of the parties involved, but the process becomes smoother if you agree on most things.
If you want a divorce and your spouse agrees, you'll have an easier time discussing parental roles, child custody, child support, alimony, and property split. However, if your partner wants to make this harder, the process will take longer. In such cases, here are your options.
Figure Out Why They Aren't Signing
It's easy to blame your partner and threaten to take them to court, but it still won't solve the root cause. A better alternative is to try to understand why your partner isn't signing the papers.
It could be that they still think you all can work things out. Another reason is that they're trying to hide their assets or think they can use this as leverage. If it's the first issue, try to convince your spouse that divorce is the best option for all parties involved.
If they're trying to use this as leverage, you'll need to bring in your divorce attorney for this. Talk to your partner, and try to understand their reasons for this delay. You might be surprised some will agree to an uncontested divorce.
Some states have a timeframe in which the divorce papers should be signed. If your spouse is hesitant and declines, this will proceed to a default divorce. A divorce is like any other lawsuit, you have to file a petition with the court. You'll then serve your spouse, and a response is expected after a certain period.
If your spouse doesn't file a response, you'll need to prove that your spouse was properly served. For this to work, you'll have to follow proper procedure; thus, you should hire a divorce lawyer to help you file the petition, serve your spouse, and follow up.
Not filing a response means that your spouse has forfeited their opportunity to contest the terms of the divorce. Therefore, if your spouse thinks that being uncooperative will halt the divorce, it won't work. The refusal to sign divorce papers might slow down the process, but it won't stop it. Instead, consult a divorce attorney to help you figure out what to do if your spouse is becoming uncooperative.