CanI get a divorce even though my wife will not sign the papers?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Family Law, California


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes you can still get s divorce even if your wife won't sign the papers.  This is actually a common situation. If she doesn't want to sign the papers she doesn't have; you can still get the divorce.  What you will need to do is to serve a divorce complaint on her.  Once she are so served, she will have a period of time in which to "answer" the complaint.  If she fails to file her answer within the specified time (it varies from state-to-state), she can proceed with a "default divorce".  Basically, this is a divorce that is granted in the absence of one of the parties. And typically, it is granted on the terms requested by the petitioner.   

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, eventually, but it will probably be costly and drawn out. 

In California, dissolution of the marriage may be based on either of the following grounds; (1) Irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage. (2) Incurable insanity.

Irreconcilable differences are those grounds which are determined by the court to be adequate reasons for the marriage to not continue and which makes it evident that the marriage should be terminated. Incurable insanity must be proven objectively.  Your opinion of your spouse does not count.

You have to have proof for your grounds. Substantial and objective proof.  It may be best to consult an attorney in your area.  Good luck.

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