What do I do if my husband won’t sign the divorce paperwork?

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What do I do if my husband won’t sign the divorce paperwork?

I have been seperated from my husband for over a year now. I’m dating another man and we are having a child in about 5 months. I need to get divorced and I have mailed him the paperwork but he won’t sign it.

Asked on April 26, 2018 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is a quite common occurance. Often the non-filing spouse (i.e. the "respondent") will not sign the divorce paperwork under the misconception that by doing so, the filing spouse (i.e. the "petitioner") will not be able to continue with the divorce. However, this is not the case. The court has the discretion to allow the proceedings to move forward. It will deem your husband to have been served since you have made a legitimate effor to do so. Accordingly, if he fails to respond within the time period given, then you can proceed with the divorce without his input. As a general rule, a divorce by "default" will be granted and on the terms that you request. At this point, you should consult directly with a local divorce attorney who can best advise you further.

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is a quite common occurance. Often the non-filing spouse (i.e. the "respondent") will not sign the divorce paperwork under the misconception that by doing so, the filing spouse (i.e. the "petitioner") will not be able to continue with the divorce. However, this is not the case. The court has the discretion to allow the proceedings to move forward. It will deem your husband to have been served since you have made a legitimate effor to do so. Accordingly, if he fails to respond within the time period given, then you can proceed with the divorce without his input. As a general rule, a divorce by "default" will be granted and on the terms that you request. At this point, you should consult directly with a local divorce attorney who can best advise you further.


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