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Aug 26 2021

What to Do When a Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers 

Divorce is a difficult and emotional transition, and some people have a very hard time accepting the reality of the situation. If your spouse is refusing to move forward with the divorce process that you have set in motion, there are important steps that you can take, and the first order of business is consulting with an experienced Minneapolis divorce attorney

If Your Spouse Has Been Served

If you have served your spouse with divorce papers and he or she refuses to respond, you can ask the court to move forward with issuing a divorce decree without your spouse’s involvement (after the required response time has elapsed). Generally, however, if someone is served with divorce papers, he or she will take some form of action before it comes to this. In Minnesota, your spouse need not be in agreement about your request for a divorce, but it is your job to demonstrate that your marriage is irretrievably broken, which may require going to mediation and potentially to trial (if your spouse refuses to agree with your assessment). 

The Basics

If your spouse wants to make your divorce more difficult and more complicated than it has to be (which is difficult and complicated enough to begin with), he or she can certainly do that, and you will need to follow through accordingly. The most important point to make, however, is that your spouse can only prolong the process; he or she cannot stop it. Consider the following:

  • If your spouse makes it difficult for you to serve him or her in the first place, you may be able to provide service by publication or via certified mail (with the court’s permission). 
  • If your spouse has been served and refuses to respond to the service or to appear for an assigned court date, you can ask the court for a divorce by default. If minor children are involved, however, the court will allow your spouse additional time to respond.  
  • If you and your spouse have negotiated divorce terms, but he or she refuses to sign the final papers, the court may give you a court date at which time it will proceed to finalize your divorce (depending upon the situation). 

Emotions naturally run high during divorce, and it’s typical to face some ups and downs. If your ex, however, is determined to make the process as difficult as possible, following your dedicated divorce attorney’s well-considered advice is the surest path forward. 

Seek the Skilled Legal Guidance of an Experienced Minneapolis Divorce Attorney

If your spouse is refusing to accept the divorce you’ve instigated, it makes this difficult legal matter that much more so, but you do not have to face this challenge alone. The practiced divorce attorneys at Atticus Family Law in Minneapolis are on your side and are well prepared to employ their expansive experience in pursuit of an effective and efficient resolution to your divorce concerns. We’re on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today.

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