What if My Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers?

It takes two to get married, but does it take two people to get divorced?

As experienced divorce attorneys, we have seen situations where one spouse files for divorce, but the other spouse refuses to engage in the process in any way. Fortunately, you can still get divorced, even if your spouse is ignoring your requests.

Here’s what you should do if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation:

Don’t wait to file for divorce.  In Texas, you can be divorced, even if your spouse does nothing to cooperate, on the 61st day after filing for divorce, so get the divorce petition on file to get the countdown started.

Don’t be afraid to have your spouse served with divorce papers.  Usually, spouses want to make things easier and focus on the truly difficult issues involved in ending a marriage.  But when your spouse doesn’t respond to your lawyer’s emails notifying them about the divorce, or doesn’t hire a lawyer to talk to your lawyer, or doesn’t return the Acceptance of Service if not hiring a lawyer, then in order for the Court to sign a divorce decree, the other spouse must be served with the petition.  Your lawyer will make arrangements for proper service of process on your spouse.

Once your spouse has been served and the 60 days have passed, you can go to Court with a proposed decree and have it entered and be divorced, all without your spouse’s involvement.

See, you don’t need your spouse’s cooperation to get divorced.

Going this route is not ideal; your spouse could eventually show up and request that the court set aside the default divorce judgment, and whether this is granted depends on the facts and the ruling of the Court; but, even if the default is set aside, at least at that point you have their attention and can get down to the serious business of getting divorced properly.

Contact us today to speak with one of our Austin divorce attorneys about the issues you are facing as your contemplate divorce.


For help with possession and access and other child custody and visitation matters in an Austin divorce or custody case, contact Lazar Law at 512-477-1600.
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