Divorce is often one of the most stress-inducing events in a person’s life as they face contentious issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. However, it becomes even more overwhelming when your spouse refuses to participate. Fortunately, despite their refusal, you can still pursue a divorce if your spouse won’t cooperate. If your marriage is on the rocks, contact our knowledgeable Monmouth County Divorce & Separation Attorneys, who can help you take the necessary steps to pursue a divorce if your spouse refuses to cooperate with the process. Please continue reading to learn what to do if your spouse won’t sign your divorce papers. 

Can I still get a divorce if my spouse won’t sign our divorce papers?

If you want a divorce, don’t lose hope if your spouse refuses to participate in the process, as the court can still grant you a divorce through a default judgment. When divorcing, you must file for a contested divorce petition with the court and serve your spouse with divorce papers. After following these legal procedures, your spouse must sign the divorce papers to acknowledge receiving the petition. If they refuse to sign and you want to continue the divorce process, you must demonstrate to the court that you have made every possible effort to serve your spouse with divorce papers. This would include providing hard evidence to the court, such as a delivery receipt, if you used a process server to deliver the divorce paperwork to your spouse. You can request a true default judgment after providing hard evidence to the court.

What is a true default judgment?

In a true default judgment, the court will grant a divorce without requiring your spouse’s signature or having to appear in court. That said, the court will likely rule in the petitioner’s favor regarding the terms that will apply to the termination of the marriage. However, the court does not issue a true default divorce without the petitioner proving that they have made a reasonable effort to serve their spouse and awaited the correct amount of time for a response. If you can prove to the court without uncertainty that your spouse refuses to participate, the court can grant you a true default divorce. It is critical to note that the court will then issue the divorce decree based on what is equitable under state law.

If you want a divorce but your spouse won’t cooperate, contact the Monmouth County divorce and separation attorneys from Paone Zaleski & Murphy, who can help you navigate this complex legal process. Our firm is prepared to help you end your marriage and move on to the next chapter of your life. Allow our firm to represent your interests in court today.