Can i file a divorce without the defendant signing the papers in Alabama?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can i file a divorce without the defendant signing the papers in Alabama?

My current husband and I wed on November 9, 2010. we separated for good on may 23, 2011. I am wanting a divorce from him but he will not sign the papers. We both have moved on and I am in a current relationship of three years and so is he, however he and his girlfriend now have a child together. I am wanting to move on with my life and have a future with my current boyfriend and cant do so because of still legally being married. My current husband flip flops on signing the divorce papers, one day he calls and wants it, then when it comes down to signing he changes his mind. What can i do to get out of this marriage once and for all? HELP

Asked on March 22, 2017 under Family Law, Alabama


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Often times the non-filing spouse (i.e. the "respondent") will avoid service of the divorce papers or receive them but not sign them under the misconception that by doing so, the filing spouse (i.e. the "petitioner") cannot move continue with the divorce. This, however, is still not the case. The court has the discretion to allow the petitioner to move forward with the proceedings. In a case such as yours, since it appears that your husband has already been serverd the divorce papers but won't sign them, he has been served. Accordingly, if he fails to respond within the time period specified in them, then you can proceed with the divorce without his input. Typically, a divorce by "default" will be granted and on the terms that you ask for. That having been said, since all of the details of your case are not completely clear to me, you should consult directly with a local divorce attorney who can best advise you further.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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