What Should I Do if My Spouse Refuses to Sign the Divorce Papers in California?

divorce petition

Getting a divorce isn’t as simple as telling your spouse you want to end the marriage and going your separate ways. In many instances, you’ll find that this is an incredibly complex process. One thing you must do is file your divorce with the court and serve your spouse with the papers. However, if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, you may worry that your divorce cannot proceed. Luckily, this is not the case. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading. The following blog explores why you should enlist the assistance of a Los Angeles divorce attorney to guide you through this process.

Why Might a Spouse Refuse to Sign Divorce Papers?

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why one spouse may not cooperate with the divorce by signing the papers.

A spouse may refuse to sign the divorce paper because they do not want to leave their spouse. They may think the other spouse could change their mind and try to rekindle the marriage if they do not sign the papers. On the other hand, they may refuse to cooperate out of spite. If they are angry or hurt by their spouse’s decision to file for divorce, they may refuse to sign the papers as a means of making the process more difficult than it needs to be.

Regardless of their reason for refusing to cooperate, it’s essential to understand that their refusal does not mean you cannot get divorced. Though it may take longer than necessary, you will still proceed with the divorce even if your spouse will not cooperate.

What Happens in California if My Spouse Doesn’t Respond to the Divorce?

You can still proceed if your spouse is served papers but does not respond before the thirty-day deadline. In many instances, the judge will grant you a default judgment. Essentially, this means that since your spouse did not respond to the divorce petition, the judge will grant you what you asked for in the divorce petition. Additionally, a default judgment will end the marriage.

A judge can grant a default judgment because your spouse has relinquished their right to advocate on their behalf when they failed to respond to the petition. Generally, they will review the terms you requested in the petition before granting the terms.

Though it may seem like a hassle, if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, the outcome will be less favorable for them. As such, it’s important to do everything you can to ensure you follow the necessary steps when filing a divorce to ensure you protect your best interest.

If you are considering filing for divorce, it’s essential to enlist the help of an experienced attorney from the Zitser Family Law Group, APC. Unfortunately, you may find that failure to take the necessary steps to protect yourself during this process can lead to a delayed divorce and may cost you time, money, and a good outcome. However, trusting an experienced attorney to guide you through this process is critical. Contact our team today to learn how we can assist you through this process.

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