Can I still file for a dissolution if I cannot get my husband to sign and return his portion of the paperwork to me?

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Can I still file for a dissolution if I cannot get my husband to sign and return his portion of the paperwork to me?

Asked on February 11, 2016 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When the "respondent" (i.e. the non-filing spouse) will not sign divorce papers, the petitioner (i.e. the spouse filing for divorce) can obtain a "divorce by default". As long as a valid summons and complaint is filed with the court and the respondent is been properly served, the petitioner is entitled to a divorce so long as the respondent fails to file an answer to the complaint. The specified time to answer is typically within 30-60 days in most states.
After that period, the respondent is deemed to have "defaulted". Accordingly, the petitioner can then file the final paperwork and appear in court. At that point, the judge will make a ruling based on the petitioner's testimony. As a geneal rule, a divorce is then typically granted on the terms requested.
That having been said, depending on state law, the repondent has a certain period of time in which to file an appeal.
To be certain of your rights under specific state law, you can consult diretly with a divorce attoreny in your area. They can best advise you further.


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