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My spouse won't sign the divorce papers. What do I do?
By nort3k from CA
Depending on what state you live in. In Oregon the spouse doesn't have to sign papers, but it takes longer to get the decree. Call Legal Aid and they could tell you for sure. You can buy and file the papers yourself and without an attorney since there is no property and no children. Good luck.
You can still get a divorce, but if your spouse won't agree to it, the divorce will usually cost you much more because of higher lawyer fees. If your spouse is in the military & won't sign the papers then you can't divorce them, but otherwise no trouble. Each state has it's own laws, contact a divorce lawyer. If you can't afford one, go to a paralegal or legal aid. I recommend a good paralegal. A paralegal costs about a quarter (or less) of the price of a lawyer & my paralegal really knew the ins & outs of divorce paperwork & she did an AMAZING job!
If you have kids & want custody here is a hint for you: If you have Physical Custody of the kids, then you usually are granted Temporary Custody & if you have Temporary custody then the odds are higher that you will end up with permanent custody.... So if you want your kids then be sure to have physical custody of them (have them staying with you) BEFORE you file the divorce paperwork.
When I was divorced many years ago, my ex simply wouldn't sign the papers no matter what. He did this simply to "give me grief" & I suspect that this is what is happening to you... SO, if you pretend for a while that you couldn't care less about the divorce paper work, then the odds are you'll have less trouble getting the paperwork signed. It's all about control!
But until your divorce or separation paperwork goes through, don't buy anything big because if you do buy a house, car or anything like that while you are still married then you spouse owns half of it! ..
---> There is a lot of good advice at the bottom of this page. Read all the way down & you will learn alot in good info from other ThriftyFun people.
In SD, legal aid will only help in certain types of cases, and I don't think divorce is one of them. Also where I live, paralegals work for attorneys. I would assume each of you have your own attorney, they should know what to do. What is your rush, give it due time, don't act like you are in a big hurry. He'll give in eventually, and as long as you aren't living together you are actually rid of him.
I have been divorced since 1983 and my ex and I get along much better living apart than we did when we were married. We can actually have civilized conversations, but it didn't happen overnight. He filed for divorce, but I got the best settlement when it came to dividing our property and the proceeds from selling our house. When we talk now, he no longer is verbally abusive, doesn't swear at me, etc.
It took me almost 14 years to get divorced from my ex-husband. I wanted to finally get re-married. I tried and tried for years to get him to divorce but could not keep track of him. He would move from place to place would not keep a job or if he had one would quit in fear of being fond and made to pay child support for our son.
Finally I had to get a lawyer and pay more then 3000.00 and tell him once we got a P.I to find him that if he did not come here to court that a cop would pick him up bring him here and hold in jail until court and then he would lose his job cause I would keep postponing it as long as I could to keep him there, or he could just sign the papers and not worry about coming up here. That is how I got it. It did take almost 14 years though. There is not much you can do if they do not want to sign. Unless you have a lot of money to pay out to force them to.
Maybe it's a good thing he won't sign. People should think long and hard before ending a marriage. It's not a casual thing to do. It can utterly destroy children, and they must come first. They didn't ask to be born. There's too much me, me, me! going on and people like me are left to try to mend the broken hearts of little children. Children never 'get over' a divorce, and more child abuse is caused by step-parents and lovers than any other source. Talk to your priest or minister before taking this step. That advice is free!
Seeing that none of us knows your reason for wanting a divorce (and to be honest, it really is none of our business), if you don't already have a lawyer then I would suggest getting one. Some will charge their fees on a sliding scale basis, depending on your income.
I had one like that a long time ago so I waited about 6 months (I had moved away 3 states) he wouldn't give me a divorce and said he would fight it and he made good money, he just liked to beat on me, so I waited. One day I sat down and wrote the stupidest love letter and told him I was on my way home if he would just help me with the fare. Within a week the man came to my office where I worked grinned and said I have a Christmas gift for you a little early, all the paper work needed was done and in 3 weeks was final and he signed and paid.
How long will a lawyer keep papers on file once I have paid, but my husband won't sign? Will the papers stay there until he does sign?
By Mistie H. from Carrollton, GA
Did he file a response when you had the papers served on him? Here in SD if a response isn't filed in sixty days(I think), the divorce is granted by default. Your attorney should know something about this and should have told you. It should also have said something on the papers that were served on your husband.
If you are paying the lawyer you need to talk to him to find out what options are available. I'm sure the laws on this are different everywhere (as mentioned by the other posts). Girl, it's time to start talkin' to people.
I'm not sure about GA, but many states will allow you to get a divorce even without his signature. Different states word it differently but it boils down to the same thing. Check with your lawyer though. If you've paid him he needs to get off his duff and do his job!
Stand up for yourself and tell your attorney to do his/her job that you paid for! He/she knows how to get the job done and is taking advantage by not finishing the job!
How did your attorney answer that question when you asked?
In Alberta he doesn't have to sign anything. Your lawyer can initiate court action on your behalf. It's usually a brief session, max of 30 min. Just a formality now. If hubby fails to show the judge will then decide how much you and the children should be awarded. Not signing was an old trick to prevent you from remarrying, (whether you want to or not) but it no longer works.
I've been separated for 12 years. Our son has quit school and will be 18 in two months. I want to remarry and she won't sign any kind of divorce papers. How can I move on with my life with her trying to hang on to me?
Get an attorney and file for divorce. She'll be served with papers and given a fair amount of time to sign them. If she fails to do so, the judge can grant the divorce without her signing the papers - it will go on record. To contest the divorce, she'll have to hire an attorney, spend lots of money, and probably still not be able to stop it, just postpone it a little longer.
File for divorce. Years ago if the spouse refused to sign, you were stuck. Not any more. She refuses to sign, no biggie. Your attorney can take care of it.
Brian, I don't know where you live, but here after several attempts for the other half to sign divorce papers and they refuse it is granted any way. I had a friend whose parents went through this years ago. The wife would not sign, so after several attempts her lawyer told her she just as well sign them because he would get the divorce any way. Talk with your lawyer something can be done!
I have been separated for 14 years and the other party won't sign the divorce papers. They are now no longer any good. I live in Pennsylvania and he is in Maryland. What do I do? I want to remarry. We have filed all of the papers in the state that we were married in and put them through the clerk. She said that because I didn't request a master's hearing I was still married. That was the only time the other party signed the papers.
If you've lived in Pennsylvania for at least 6 months, you can file for divorce in that state. If the other party doesn't sign the papers, you can probably still get an uncontested divorce - especially if he doesn't file papers to contest it or appear in court.
I don't know the laws there,if this is required- but if you have his address, you should probably have him served by a process server. This proves he got the papers & knows you filed for divorce, that way he can't say he didn't know.
If you don't have his address, but know what city he's in - some states allow for you to post it in the paper for a certain number of days, then proceed with the dicorce. That shows that you made an effort to notify him.
More than anything, you really need to get some legal advice on this issue, it sounds like you've been getting bad legal advice. Here are links to 2 websites that can help you. The 1st answers some of your questions & gives yo links to other sites. The other link is for Legal Aid in PN, they offer free or pro-rated legal help.
Where I live, it used to be and probably still is that when divorce papers were served on a person, that person had 60 days to respond, and if there was no response, the divorce was granted to the person wanting the divorce, by default. I would be surprised if there wasn't something similar in all states. It might be a different length of time, but I would think there would be something similar. The papers that I was served with, had that statement right on them. I counter filed, not because I wanted to save the marriage, but to make sure I was treated fairly. Also, I don't think you have to file for divorce in the state where you were married, but instead where ever you live. The way people move around now it would be pretty hard to file in the state where you were married. Look in your phone book, where I live a lot of attorneys offer a free first time consultation. That way you could find out where you stand and give you an idea what you should do. Something doesn't sound right, in what you said, but if you desparately want to remarry, you might have to start the proceedings over.
What advise does your attorney give you about the matter?
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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)
My husband won't consent to a divorce. We have been separated for 6 months. I have moved on because of his cheating, he doesn't want a divorce and won't stop seeing the other woman. What can I do? The divorce legal costs are more than I can afford. I don't want to lose my kids or the home we own.
Princess from Kitwe
I'm not certain where you reside, but most of the Courts now offer a service where they will review forms that are being filed "pro se" by a Plaintiff. Pro Se meaning that you act on your own behalf, without an attorney. In addition, most of the forms are now available on your local Court's website, and are fairly simple to fill out. Best of Luck. (06/30/2005)
Call your Attorney General's office and ask for information about free Legal Aid. Some lawyers do it. It's called "pro bono". (06/30/2005)
Maybe this will help you?
What is a Bifurcation?
It can take many months, even several years, for a dissolution to wind its way through the courts. Faced with this fact, many spouses want to terminate the marriage quickly, even if the other issues in the case have not been settled. There might also be situations in which it makes sense to have a separate trial of a particular issue.
In both of those situations, the court will order that the trial is to be bifurcated. This means either that the marital status is terminated and the parties are restored to their single status or a separate trial is to be held concerning a specific issue.
I'm so sorry you have to go through this! (06/30/2005)
You have to be very careful and not accept a divorce without getting payments through the end of college for your children, cars, and health insurance. You may be desperate now, but you are going to continue to be in a sad situation for years to come if you don't get a decent settlement agreement now.
I had indicated in a previous posting that there is free legal aid for you. Search and you will find it. Call your local library and see if their reference dept. can give you suggestions. Call City Hall. Call everyone you can think of until you get an answer. Call your county's Bar Association. Call any lawyer in the phone book and ask the secretary for info. (06/30/2005)