When One Spouse Is Uncooperative About A Divorce

Law Blog

It's one thing for spouses to disagree about divorce issues and another when one spouse is against the idea of divorce entirely. You can still get divorced when your spouse refuses to accept things, though. Read on to find out more about this issue below.

Serving the Uncooperative Spouse

With couples that agree (or at least accept) that a divorce is inevitable, the serving of divorce papers is pretty easy. The cooperative spouse will usually seek advice from their own divorce lawyer who will prepare an answer to the complaint. You must make every effort to serve your uncooperative spouse as well since getting divorced without their knowledge could cause problems later. Even if the spouse refuses to do anything with the papers, using a professional process server will prove that the spouse received the petition.

Understanding the Importance of the Divorce Paperwork

When a spouse is served with divorce paperwork, the stack of documents contains important information that could affect several areas. The petition (or complaint) covers child custody, visitation, debt, property, and more. Almost any issue that will end up being in the final decree is also addressed in the petition served to your spouse. If the spouse fails to respond to the petition, the divorce could very well become final based on that initial petition. That means the uncooperative spouse will have no choice but to go along with the petition if they fail to respond with their own petition. Depending on your circumstances, that might be a good thing or it might not be. If you are dealing with an uncooperative spouse, be careful what you ask for in your initial petition because you might end up receiving it.

Your Divorce By Default

When the other spouse does not respond to the divorce at all, a divorce by default may be granted. In most states, you must wait a certain amount of time before the divorce becomes final. If your spouse should come forward during that time, the divorce will become either a contested or uncontested divorce. Some states allow a default divorce to proceed with no waiting period as the divorce automatically becomes an uncontested divorce. Contested means not that the other spouse is refusing to be divorced but that they disagree with some or all of the provisions within it. Uncontested is when both sides agree to all provisions.

Discuss this issue with a divorce lawyer to find out more.


11 February 2020

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