If you have filed for divorce and your spouse has not signed the papers, what do you do? At Malinowski Hubbard, PLLC, our Fairfax divorce attorneys have extensive experience helping clients navigate contested divorce cases. We can help determine your options for seeking divorce and provide legal advice for your situation.
In order to pursue divorce, there are three things you can do to get your spouse to participate:
Serve the Papers
The first step in pursuing divorce is to serve, or deliver, the papers to your spouse. Typically, once you file the papers, your spouse can file an uncontested or contested response without signing the papers. If they file an uncontested response, you may be able to go ahead with the divorce proceedings without their papers. In this case, the judge would mainly rely on your petition and the uncontested response to make a decision.
Schedule a Court Appearance
If your spouse has not signed the papers, you can wait until the judge orders a court appearance. Then, if your spouse still does not appear, you may be able to pursue the divorce as uncontested. This also depends on your petition and the judge’s discretion, but waiting for a court appearance may be an option if your spouse has not signed the papers.
Request a Default
If all else fails and your spouse has not provided a response within 30 days of being served, you can pursue the divorce by requesting to file a default. A default allows the divorce to proceed as uncontested and can help you avoid trials or public hearings. If your spouse does not sign the papers or show up to the court appearance, he or she forfeits the right to have any say in the divorce proceedings. You can then file the divorce petition and judgment without your spouse’s signature.
Our Trusted Attorneys Can Help
Seeking a divorce when your spouse does not follow through can be frustrating and stressful. If you understand your options, however, you can pursue the divorce even if he or she does not sign the papers. Our divorce attorneys have years of experience dealing with both contested and uncontested divorce cases, and we can help you make informed decisions and represent you throughout the process.
Contact us today to learn about our divorce services.