What Happens If Your Spouse Will Not Sign the Divorce Papers?

Although the total number of divorces has decreased across the country, it is still a rampant part of people's lives. Occasionally, the couple has an amicable divorce, and each spouse realizes the marriage needs to end. For other couples, only one person wants the marriage to end while the other is reluctant. This becomes a problem when he or she refuses to sign the necessary paperwork.

Although this seems like a major roadblock, the truth of the matter is that you can still move forward with the divorce proceedings even if your spouse does not want to sign anything. 

California is a no-fault state

California is a no-fault state, so you do not have to provide a reason for the separation. You also do not need the other person's signature to move forward with a divorce. The only thing you need to do is make sure your spouse has received the necessary paperwork and has gotten the opportunity to sign them. From that point, your spouse has 30 days to file the response. After 30 days in California, you are free to proceed with the divorce and provide a judge with your proposed judgment and property division. Any division of assets needs to be relatively equal between the two individuals. At this point, the judge can finalize the divorce without your spouse ever giving expressed approval. 

When the spouse does file a response

It is possible for the other spouse to contest the divorce, but this would require submitting additional paperwork. From there, you can either move to a trial or a settlement. You can also pursue a combination of the two. You can settle certain matters privately and handle the rest in a trial at a later date. Litigation may also come into play where both sides present evidence as to why the divorce should happen a given way. 

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