What to Do if Your Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers

What to Do if Your Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers

What to Do if Your Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers

Divorce is part of life. The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) reports that nearly 30,000 couples finalize their divorce in the state each year. Nearly half of all U.S. marriages will eventually end in a separation. Of course, that does not make going through a divorce easy. It can be especially difficult if your spouse is simply uncooperative. 

This raises an important question: What do you do if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers? In Illinois, you have the right to proceed with the divorce regardless—you do not need their signature to finalize the divorce. Here, our Illinois divorce attorney explains the most important things that you should know if your spouse simply refuses to sign the divorce papers in Illinois. 

Background: Illinois is a No-Fault Divorce State

Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that one does not need to prove that the other party is at fault to get a divorce. Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, you have a right to get a no-fault divorce on the grounds that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.”

Why does this matter in a case where a spouse simply refuses to sign the divorce papers? The answer is that the Illinois no-fault divorce law means that the court will grant a divorce as long as one of the parties states that the marriage is irretrievably broken. Although it makes things more frustrating, you can still get a divorce without your spouse cooperating with the process. 

You Must Serve Divorce Papers On Your Spouse and Seek Default Judgment

If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers in Illinois, you will need to officially serve him or her with the divorce papers in the proper legal manner through a process server. Should your spouse still refuse to cooperate with the process after being served, you will need to seek a default judgment. In effect, this means that the court can grant you a divorce in your spouse’s absence. 

Divorce Tip: It is Often Best to Try to Get Your Spouse to Cooperate

As a general rule, it is best to try to get your spouse to cooperate throughout the divorce process. Collaboration and cooperation can lead to a quicker and less costly resolution and help preserve your relationship, which is particularly important if there are children involved. While you do not need a signature from your spouse to move forward with the divorce process, it is best practice to make a good-faith effort to obtain one. 

Get Help From Our Illinois Divorce Attorney Today

At SAM LAW OFFICE LLC, our Illinois divorce lawyers advocate for our clients with skill, personal attention, and a commitment to making a positive impact. If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, we are here to help. Give us a call now or contact us online to arrange your confidential initial consultation. Our firm provides family and divorce services throughout the region. 





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