What if one spouse files for a divorce and the other spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers?

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What if one spouse files for a divorce and the other spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers?

Asked on January 3, 2016 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In a situation such as this the petitioning spouse (the one filing for divorce) can obtain what is known as a "divorce by default". So long as a valid summons and complaint was filed with the court and the respondent (the non-filing spouse) was properly served, the petitioner is entitled to such a divorce if the respondent fails to file an answer to the action within the specified time period (in most states between 30-60 days). At that point, they will be deemed to have "defaulted". The petitioner can then file their final paperwork and appear before the judge, who will rule solely on the petitioner's testimony. A divorce will then granted (typically on the terms that the petitioner requests).


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