What You Should Do If Your Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers

Family Law, Lawyer in McHenry County

If you file for divorce and your partner refuses to sign the divorce papers, it can make the process more difficult. It could stretch far beyond what you may have imagined unless you’re dealing with an experienced divorce lawyer.

Some spouses can make divorce a nightmare by hiding or refusing to sign the papers. If you’re expecting a contested divorce where your spouse ignores the proceedings, you need to hire a skilled divorce lawyer.

Here are some actions to take if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers

  1. Spouse Consent Not Necessary

Years ago, divorce was less likely to pull through without the permission of the other spouse. Today, however, the case is not the same. Although consensual or uncontested divorce seems to be more comfortable, it isn’t the only route.

But they are not required if your partner refuses to sign. In that case, you have the right to file for divorce in court. Take note that your spouse’s attitude can also serve as an edge in making sure you dissolve your marriage even without the other’s consent.

  1. Appropriate Ground For Divorce

Today, virtually every state has a no-fault divorce that allows you to obtain a divorce without proving a fault. For the best outcome, divorce based on a fault is more admirable, since it enables you to get property settlement, spousal support, or child custody. If your spouse is adamant about signing any divorce paper, contact an experienced divorce attorney for guidance.

  1. Divorce By Default Proceeding

When you present the papers to your spouse and get rejected, you have the right to request a default divorce. In this type of divorce, you don’t need the signature of your spouse. If you’re going to follow this route, it means the division of properties, child supports, and other arrangements will be the court’s final decision. Failure to sign the divorce papers is seen as an agreement to the terms of the divorce.

  1. Don’t Put On Hold

Don’t because your partner’s lack of consent delay the divorce, as the signature is not as important as you assume. The only way your spouses can successfully delay the divorce is by actively participating in the proceedings. If that isn’t the case, the court will allow you to obtain a default divorce. In other words, you can get a divorce without the consent of your partner.

  1. Abandonment

If a filling spouse is unable to obtain the other spouse’s consent because he or she can’t be found, the court will allow the filling spouse to proceed under the reason of abandonment. If this is going to be a reason, there is usually a waiting period of about six months. If all attempts to contact the spouse fail, the court will grant the divorce without a hearing.


Your partner not signing the divorce papers shouldn’t cause you any worries. Hire a reliable divorce lawyer to help you make the right decision at every given time. That way, you don’t make mistakes that might hunt you later.

Contact Franks & Rechenberg. P.C. Attorneys at Law to help with your Family Law case.