What If My Spouse Won’t Sign The Divorce Papers?

by Mar 14, 2022Article

Even with the most amicable of divorces, there are many unpredictable events that can transpire to turn the situation contentious. One event that can happen is if one spouse doesn’t want to sign the divorce papers after going through negotiations, or attempts another way to postpone your divorce. This can make the process extremely frustrating. What do you do if your spouse outright refuses to sign the divorce papers, and what other options can you explore? Read on to learn more about the steps you can take if you are in a situation where your spouse refuses to sign the divorce decree.

Does Your Spouse Need To Sign The Divorce Papers To Finalize Proceedings?

If you are in this situation, you should know that a divorce cannot be totally halted just because your spouse refuses to sign the papers. Essentially, your spouse doesn’t have to sign the divorce papers for the divorce decree to be finalized. No matter if the other individual signs the papers, if one individual is pursuing a divorce, they will still get it granted. However, if the spouse refuses to sign, it turns into a contested divorce. 

What Steps Should I Take If My Spouse Doesn’t Want To Get Divorced?

If one party wants to get divorced, the other party is unable to prevent the divorce from happening. Remember, you have options. Below we list some options you can try if your spouse doesn’t want to accept the divorce.

  • Resolve your issues through mediation: If you believe that you and your spouse could resolve these problems through mediation, then it may be the best option to keep things amicable. Maybe the other party is still in denial about the situation and needs to discuss it before agreeing to the divorce. Mediation is one alternative form of dispute resolution that assists you and your spouse in navigating yourdivorce issues with the help of a neutral third party trained in such matters. 
  • Request to enter a default judgment: You can ask your divorce attorney to request the court enter a default judgment. When entering a default judgment, you can have the court pass your petition following a certain period. There are two types of default under Florida law: judicial and clerk. When a party doesn’t respond at all to the petition, it is a clerk’s default. A judicial default is when a party doesn’t plead or defend against the claims. On the other hand, after a default is filed, the defaulted party technically waved all their defenses. The defaulted party is now treated as having admitted to all of the allegations.
  • Go To Trial: If your spouse still won’t sign the divorce papers following mediation, you can also select to take it to trial. Going to trial is always the most time-consuming and expensive way to finalize a divorce. Before going to trial, we always recommend consulting with an experienced divorce attorney. The judge will resolve all the issues in your divorce at trial, such as child custody, the division of marital assets and property, spousal support/alimony, and child support. The judge will issue a ruling at the hearing based on your divorce petition and proceed to issue your divorce judgments and orders. If your spouse doesn’t appear on this date or respond, he/she relinquishes the right to any say in the divorce.

Contact Us Today

If you’re going through a divorce, you will need an expert divorce attorney on your side. Swickle & Associates is a top Florida family law firm. Call Swickle & Associates for a free initial consultation today!