When a Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers

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When a Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers

You have done the soul searching and come to the difficult decision that you need a divorce, and no part of the process was easy. If your spouse now refuses to sign the divorce papers that you’ve worked so diligently to obtain, it can feel like an insurmountable blow. The fact of the matter is, however, that you will get past this roadblock, and an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer can help you get there. 

Your Divorce Papers Are Ready to Sign

You’ve been through the difficult process of hammering out the following divorce terms with your divorcing spouse:

  • Child custody arrangements (called parental responsibilities and parenting time in Illinois)
  • Division of marital property
  • Child support
  • Alimony

Whether you were able to come to terms between yourselves (with your respective divorce attorneys’ guidance) or the court had to intervene on your behalf, you have divorce terms on a divorce decree that cannot be fully executed until your spouse signs on the dotted line. If he or she simply refuses, you have few options other than to request that the court grant a divorce by default. 

The Divorce by Default Proceeding

If your spouse will not budge on his or her refusal to sign, you have the right to request a default hearing. The court involved will uphold all the terms contained in the original terms stated in your divorce decree. In essence, the court will interpret your spouse’s absence as his or her agreement with the terms of your divorce. As long as your ex was served appropriately, the court will make the default finding on your behalf. 

If Your Spouse Refuses to Engage in the Divorce Process

If your spouse refuses to participate in the divorce process overall, it can make the matter that much more difficult. Such a stance amounts to insisting upon a contested divorce in which the court will hand down terms (instead of you and your ex negotiating them between yourselves). 

Your No-Fault Divorce

Fault-based divorces were abolished in the State of Illinois, which means that your divorce will be no-fault. Once you serve your spouse with divorce papers – and he or she chooses not to timely respond – it sets your divorce on the same track as other contested divorces. At this point, the court will schedule a hearing at which it will hear the reasons why it is required to resolve your divorce terms. If you and your divorcing spouse both appear, the court will listen to testimony and evidence from both sides. If not, yours will likely become a divorce by default. 

Discuss Your Concerns with an Experienced Illinois Divorce Lawyer Today

If your spouse is refusing to sign divorce papers, the resourceful divorce lawyers at Andrea Heckman Law in Joliet have reserves of experience helping clients like you move beyond such obstacles – and into their bright post-divorce futures. To learn more about how we can help you, please do not wait to contact us today.

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Andrea Heckman

Managing Attorney

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