Divorce can be an extremely contentious time for couples. Either or both spouses can feel emotionally volatile during this process. Tempers run high, and people can become belligerent about even meaningless arguments after one spouse brings up divorce. Because spouses either don’t want the divorce or want to prevent their spouses from getting what they want, they can sometimes refuse to sign the divorce papers. Whether or not this is a last-ditch effort to prevent the divorce from occurring, if this happens to you, you’re not without options.
If a spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, they are being uncooperative. This can happen also with a refusal to sign the proof of service (a formal notification the divorce has been filed) and a refusal to agree on issues the couple may have. However, even if a spouse is reluctant to move forward with a divorce, the process can still be finalized for the partner who filed.
For people with uncooperative spouses, if he or she won’t sign the papers if they’re delivered by you, you can have them served by a friend, adult family member, sheriff, or process server. The serving process is the start of the divorce, and the court requires the proof of service to be sent, whether or not the spouse actually signs it.
If you’ve made efforts to serve your spouse and they have not responded within 30 days, you can file default divorce paperwork with the courts because the process is then considered uncontested. If you have issues that need to be settled, a judge will usually make a decision based on what is reasonable. However, if there are no issues to be resolved, you might not need to make a court appearance at all, and the divorce will be finalized.
Default divorce is typically favorable for the person filing. It is relatively quick and cheap, usually finalized within the 6 months from the date of service. However, if your spouse does decide to respond within the thirty days and doesn’t agree with the terms, you may have to attend lengthy court proceedings for your contested divorce. Not all contested divorces are resolved in court, but most do.
If you need help with the divorce process, contact our experienced Murrieta divorce attorneys today. Our firm can help you seek resolutions in a non-confrontational, private manner. Westover Law Group is passionate about serving people during their time of need. Whether you have to go through negotiations or you’re fighting with a spouse in a court of law, we can help. Our team has a Board Certified Family Law Specialist, Andrew L. Westover, and other legal professionals who can assist you and your family through this difficult time. Mr. Westover is among the top 3% of attorneys who have undergone rigorous training to become experts in family law. You can trust him to help you with your situation. To get started, contact us at (951) 643-0085 or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation today. We answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so we can answer whatever questions you have whenever you have them.