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Can I Refuse to Sign Divorce Papers?

Couples are not always on the same page about getting a divorce. One spouse may believe the marriage is over, while the other may want to fight to make it work. In these situations, the spouse resisting the divorce may feel refusing to sign the papers will halt the divorce process. This, however, is typically not the case. In fact, refusing to sign divorce papers could do more harm than good for the spouse opposing the divorce.

What Happens if You Refuse the Divorce?

If you refuse to sign the divorce papers within the 30-day frame, it will result in a default divorce. What does that mean for you? It essentially makes it easier for the petitioner to dissolve the marriage. Instead, the petitioner can handle the case by mail or a short meeting with a judge.

The courts will grant the divorce request without a trial since the respondent never filed a motion to contest the petition. Further, by not signing the divorce papers, you are giving up the right to negotiate the terms of your split. This means that you agree to all the petitioner’s terms for property division, child custody, child support, and alimony. Under normal circumstances, the two parties would negotiate an agreement or go to a court hearing to contest the terms. However, by being uncooperative, you will most likely make the situation worse for yourself.

The Right Way to Contest a Divorce

If your spouse files for divorce, you cannot stop it from happening. What you can do is file a motion to contest the petitioner’s terms. This will delay the process until the couple can either agree on the terms of the divorce or the judge rules on its terms in divorce court.

If you are facing a divorce and unsure which direction to turn, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Dan McCandless Law. We understand the divorce process can be daunting, but we are committed to serving your rights and best interests. We will guide you through these difficult times and ensure you receive a fair deal in your divorce.

You do not have to go through your divorce alone. You can request a free consultation by calling us today at (858) 266-9171.