If my wife will not fill out divorce papers, what can I do to get the divorce to happen?

Asked on November 16, 2015 under Family Law, New York


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In most states, in such a situation the "petitioning" spouse (that's the one filing for divorce) can obtain what is called a "divorce by default". As long as a valid summons and complaint is filed with the court and the "respondent" (that's the non-filing spouse) is properly served, the petitioner is entitled to such a divorce if the respondent fails to file an answer to the complaint within the time specified (typically 30-60 days). After that time, the respondent will be deemed to have "defaulted". The petitioner can then file the final paperwork and appear before the judge, who will make their ruling based on the petitioner's sole testimony. Typically, a divorce is then granted generally on the terms that the petitioner requests.
At this point you can consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area.

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