How to get a divorce if my husband won’t sign the papers?

UPDATED: Dec 15, 2011

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How to get a divorce if my husband won’t sign the papers?

He won’t sign them because of his religion. We don’t own anything together or have any debts together.

Asked on December 15, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In the majority of states, in a situation such as this the spouse filing for divorce (i.e. the petitioning spouse) can obtain a "divorce by default". As long as a valid summons and complaint has been filed with the court and the non-filing spouse (i.e. respondent) has been properly served, the petitioner is entitled to a divorce if the respondent fails to file an answer to the complaint within a specified time (typically 30-60 days).

After that period, the repondent will be deemed to have "defaulted". Accordingly, the petitioner can then file their final paperwork and appear in court. The judge will then make their ruling solely on the petitioner's written/oral testimony. A divorce will then be granted on the terms that the petitioner requested.

Note: The repondent may have have a certain period of time to appeal, depending on the state. After that, the court's ruling becomes final.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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