I want to divorce my abusive wife, but I know she won't sign the papers. We have no children, own no property, and each have our own cars. What type of divorce do I need? Do I need a lawyer?
By Perry from Los Angeles, CA
These posts cover it pretty well. thriftyfun.com (11/17/2009)
Yes get a lawyer, good luck. (11/17/2009)
There should be a place you can get the papers to file your divorce. It is easy to do, my daughter did her own. We sent the papers to her husband to a mail drop he didn't bother to check so he wasn't there to contest the divorce. The divorce cost a little over one hundred dollars and she got total custody of their daughter. Good luck. (11/18/2009)
You can go to the court house and file papers. She'll have a certain amount of time to sign them. If she doesn't it will be final after that time has passed. If you don't have any property or kids I wouldn't hire a lawyer. One thing to consider is she may file for spousal support. To find out more about that you can go to your county's domestic relations section. Good luck. (11/19/2009)
I don't know about California, but in New York if you are separated for a year you can file for divorce. That's what I did. Although even the separation papers must be signed, it may not seem as final to her and she may agree to that. I find it hard to believe that you cannot divorce her just because she will not cooperate. A lawyer would be money well spent. Good luck. I know where you are coming from. (11/19/2009)
Before spending a lot of money on a lawyer get a free consultation first from a few "divorce lawyers". Don't even bother making an appointment with them unless they tell you a consultation is free.
I know there must be ways to get a divorce without a signature (it just might take an extra step or two and take longer) and, if the law remains the same in California, it can be done by simply posting a certain way in the legal notice section of your local newspaper for a certain amount of weeks and then filing the proper paperwork.
Lawyers are going to try to suck everything they can out of you so try researching on your own first (after consultations to pick their brains), but I am pretty sure you can do it on your own. Get court papers from the court you want to file and do some online searches for info too.
Here's a link to start:
You better get a lawyer. Laws are different in each state. I have heard of people trying to do it on their own and they thought they were divorced and several years down the road they found out it was not legal. You may have to wait a little while, but she will come around because she is going to meet someone. My friend's dad had his wife not sign either, but he held out and she finally gave in. I think she thought it would make him mad, but he didn't let it bother him and she came around. (11/19/2009)
By Teresa Kay
As to the comment "you may think you're divorced when you are not". If it's filed in the court house you are divorced. (11/20/2009)
I agree: the thing isn't final until it's filed at the courthouse. My mother paid for a divorce, only to learn years later her lawyer had never filed the final papers. Thank God she'd never remarried.
As for the type of filing, as you share no assets or children, a dissolution would be cheaper and should be easier to get. Be sure to check your local laws. You may have to have lived apart for a year or more to do this. Ask an expert, judge, lawyer, or clerk what your best option is and whether your abusive spouse will have to agree or sign anything. (11/21/2009)
You will know your final filing of court papers have been completely completed when the court sends you or hands you a court date to show up for the final hearing. In many states you can choose a court date if you're the one filing those final papers. (11/21/2009)
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