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What to do if your spouse refuses to sign your divorce papers

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Divorce

Navigating a divorce can be emotionally and legally complex, especially if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers. This situation can cause delays and additional stress, but understanding your options can help you move forward.

Understanding a contested divorce

A contested divorce occurs when one spouse does not agree to the terms of the divorce or refuses to participate in the process. In California, you can still obtain a divorce without your spouse’s agreement, but the process involves several additional steps.

Starting the process

To start the divorce process, file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. This legal document initiates the divorce process and must include all necessary information and grounds for divorce.

Once you have filed the petition, you need to serve the divorce papers to your spouse. You will deliver the petition and summons through a third party or a professional process server to ensure your spouse is legally notified of the divorce proceedings

Default judgements

After you serve your spouse the papers, your spouse has 30 days to respond. If they do not respond within this timeframe, you can proceed with a default judgment. Requesting a default judgment from the court means that the court may grant the divorce based on the terms outlined in your petition. To do this, you must file a Request to Enter Default and provide proof that your spouse was properly served.

In some cases, the court may schedule a hearing to finalize the default judgment. Be prepared to present your case and provide any necessary documentation to support your claims during this hearing.

Moving forward with your divorce

By following the necessary legal steps, you can work towards a resolution, even if your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers. Understanding the process and preparing thoroughly will make the journey smoother.