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What Happens if a Spouse Refuses to Sign the Divorce Papers in Orlando, FL?
Deciding to get a divorce is hard enough. It’s even more difficult if your spouse is trying to throw a wrench in your plans. Not signing divorce papers may delay your divorce proceedings, but it won’t stop them.
You have options to get a divorce even if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers or respond to the divorce petition. But navigating this can be complex so it’s recommended that you speak with a divorce lawyer in Orlando, FL, today to discuss your options for moving forward with your divorce.
Getting a Divorce Without Your Spouse’s Signature
This may seem like an insurmountable hurdle. You want to put the divorce behind you as quickly as possible and move on to the next phase of your life. But for whatever reason, your spouse has decided to refuse to sign the divorce papers.
Why would they do this? Maybe matters between you two have become so tense that this is their way of getting back at you. Or maybe they’re under the mistaken impression that you cannot finalize the divorce without their signature. Regardless of the reason, you have options.
Under Florida law, you don’t have to prove fault to get a divorce. As a no-fault divorce state, Florida lets you simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This means that a divorce can happen if just one spouse wants to leave the marriage. The idea is that no one should be forced to stay in an unhappy marriage.
So now you know you can get a divorce in Orlando even if your spouse refuses to sign the paperwork. But how? By requesting a default divorce.
When you file your petition for dissolution of marriage with the Orange County Clerk, you were required to serve that paperwork on your spouse. If they don’t reply within a certain time period, they’re essentially waiving their right to object to your petition.
However, your next steps may require the assistance of legal counsel, as there are strict procedures to follow. When requesting a default divorce, you’ll need to show the judge that your spouse has intentionally not responded to the petition for dissolution.
You may do this by filing a notice of your divorce in the newspaper. This puts your spouse on notice that the divorce is proceeding. If your spouse intentionally refuses to sign any divorce paperwork or respond to the petition for dissolution, then you may be able to get a default divorce.
If a judge is satisfied that your spouse has received ample time to respond to the divorce petition, they may grant your default divorce request. The outcome is the same as a regular divorce: your marriage has legally ended.
Speak with an Orlando Divorce Attorney Today
Getting a divorce is an emotional and challenging process. When your spouse intentionally makes things harder, that can be frustrating. Don’t let them get the best of you. There are legal options available to you to still achieve your goal of ending the marriage. Contact McMichen, Cinami & Demps, today to get compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance.