Can I Still Get Divorced if My Spouse Is Uncooperative?

one spouse ignoring other

When going through a divorce, you may want to do everything in your power to get it over with as quickly as possible. However, when your spouse refuses to cooperate, you may find this process becomes more delayed and more expensive. Luckily, you don’t have to let them create additional stress; even if they are uncooperative, the law allows you to continue the process. The following blog discusses how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you explore your legal options to ensure you can proceed with the dissolution of your marriage.

Why May a Spouse Be Uncooperative During a Divorce?

Your spouse may be uncooperative for a number of reasons. They may be in denial or angry about the fact that you want a divorce. By refusing to sign the documents, they may think you’ll rethink the decision and decide against the divorce.

In other cases, your spouse may be uncooperative out of spite. Even though they know that a divorce is inevitable, they may be angry that you were the one to file. As such, they may do everything possible to “punish” you for your choices.

Finally, a spouse may refuse to sign legal documents because they disagree with the terms and conditions listed in the divorce papers they are served. However, even if they do not agree, they must still file an answer in response to the documents with the court.

What Are My Legal Options?

When you serve divorce papers, your spouse may refuse to sign the petition. It’s crucial to understand that even if your spouse does not sign the papers, this doesn’t mean the divorce can’t happen. Instead, it just means that your divorce is now considered contested. Unfortunately, you may find that their refusal to cooperate elongates the process.

A contested divorce means your spouse does not agree to the terms in the documents. As such, you will need to attend a court hearing. During this process, a judge will listen to both sides of the argument before determining how to issue a decision regarding things like child custody, property distribution, and alimony.

In the event your spouse does not respond at all to the petition, you must file with the court to prove they were served the petition and did not respond. Once you do this, you will likely be granted a default judgment. This can include decisions regarding child custody and spousal support.

Luckily, the law is on your side when you want to move forward with a divorce when your spouse does not. If you’re getting ready to file for divorce, especially if you have reason to believe your spouse will be uncooperative, it’s in your best interest to contact an attorney. At the Zitser Family Law Group, our dedicated lawyers understand how frustrating a divorce can be. As such, we will do everything possible to help you navigate these circumstances. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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