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  • Writer's pictureAnthony DelleFave

What to Do if one Partner Refuses to Sign the Divorce Papers?

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

If you want a divorce yet are in an unhappy marriage, it is a touchy subject. One of your most important life decisions is this one. However, sometimes events can go awry, and your spouse might not agree with your choice. They may desire to save their marriage for a number of reasons. Abuse, on the other hand, may occasionally be the cause of divorce, in which case the spouse may decline to sign the papers. The situation becomes exceedingly difficult in these circumstances. We will now go over your options if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers.

Is the consent of both parties required for divorce?

The ideal circumstance, which completely simplifies the process, is when both parties consent. However, our law is aware that this won't always be the case. There are various options for it in this situation. You must first file a divorce petition. Professional assistance will then be a wise move. You will be better able to defend your rights and comprehend all the legal requirements.

Your spouse is not required to sign a divorce Separation Agreement if you decide to do so. The procedure will go forward as a court matter instead.

Contested and uncontested divorce

When both parties fully consent to the divorce, the situation will be the easiest and most ideal. This divorce will be referred to as uncontested. It is not always simple to accomplish, though. The Defendant may occasionally object to the divorce's stipulated terms or not be happy with the proposed settlement. This brings us to the case in question. This includes justifications advanced in court justifying the agreement. To acquire the greatest results in both situations, it is advised to use a qualified Divorce and family lawyer.

Suppose your spouse hasn’t replied to your Complaint as per the deadline due to any reason, then there is an option for granting divorce by default. The judge will decide as per the pieces of evidence. Also, the failure to answer the Complaint will be considered as the agreement for the terms. This will eradicate any reason to deny your terms. If the default judgment process is followed, you will need to inform your spouse about the notice period and hearing schedule.

What can you do?

Here are a few suggestions for going forward with an uncontested divorce.

Evidence for marriage breakdown

You can show your marriage has broken down in court if your spouse refuses to sign the documents. This contains proof of adultery, infidelity, and abuse of the body or mind, or that your marriage has been broken down for a period of at least six months. Without the other party's approval, the court will hear your Complaint in this situation and award your divorce. Your supporting documentation must be solid and reliable, though. The court may impose sanctions if the allegations are untrue. Additionally, you could lose the case for the settlement terms entirely.

Also, if you are a real victim and you prove this in front of the court, then the court will also provide you with restraining orders. Severe charges can also be added against the abuser and proper actions will be taken against him. In this case, professional family attorneys are useful as they will be able to guide you throughout the legal process of your hearing.

In case, you are also fighting for the custody of your children, then the chances also increase further.

Talk it out

If your partner isn't on board for the divorce, this could seem like a really difficult position. However, you should give it a shot first if you and your partner are on speaking terms. This might aid you in achieving a scenario of mutual consent. You might reach a compromise regarding the terms and settlement. This is not, however, a better choice in circumstances of domestic violence or harassment. In certain situations, the abuser can face minimal charges.


Divorce is a significant life event that affects many facets of your existence. Divorce is not an easy decision to make when your spouse is not on board. Additionally, this will lengthen the legal process. Professional assistance may therefore be beneficial for you. Moving ahead with an uncontested divorce is possible. Even if your husband refuses to sign the divorce papers, this will aid in your ability to obtain one.

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