Oftentimes, when a marriage is no longer working, the one thing that both spouses can agree on is that they should proceed with getting a divorce. In some cases, if one spouse is unwilling to accept the fact that the marriage is over, they may refuse to sign the divorce papers, prolonging the process. While an uncooperative spouse can certainly complicate the process, it will not prevent you from proceeding with the divorce. A skilled divorce lawyer will protect your legal rights and pursue the best possible settlement, even if your spouse is uncooperative.
What Happens Once the Divorce Petition is Served?
Once you have decided to get a divorce, you will need to which cause of action to plead, the most common being “irreconcilable differences.” It does not require you or your spouse to provide a reason for the divorce. You can also file based upon other grounds of divorce, including adultery, abandonment, or spousal abuse. After you have decided the type of divorce that will be filed, you will need to fill out a series of forms, including a petition for divorce, which will be served to your spouse. Upon receiving the petition, your spouse will then have the opportunity to file an answer and counterclaim.
If your spouse does not respond to the petition, the court can proceed without their response. However, you will need to complete additional paperwork, including a request for a default divorce, and submit the documents to the court. The Court will likely set a date for a default hearing, allowing the divorce to proceed without your spouse’s involvement. If the court believes that your spouse was given notice of the legal action, and the opportunity to respond, the court may proceed with the process of dissolving the marriage, and you may be granted a divorce based upon the terms outlined in the initial petition. This, however, does not necessarily mean that you will be awarded all of the marital property.
What If My Spouse Cannot Be Located?
If you cannot serve your spouse with divorce papers because they cannot be located, you may be permitted to serve the papers by alternate service, provided you are able to convince a judge that you have made concerted efforts to locate them, such as trying to reach them via email, telephone, social media, or by contacting their other friends or family members. If your spouse remains unreachable, you may proceed with the divorce.
Whitehouse Station Divorce Lawyer at Tune Law Group, LLC Advocate for Clients Who Are Seeking a Divorce
If you filed for divorce, and your spouse refuses to sign the divorce petition, consider contacting the Whitehouse Station divorce lawyer at Tune Law Group, LLC. We will protect your legal rights and pursue the best possible settlement, even if your spouse is non-responsive. To schedule an initial consultation, call us today at 908-434-1061 or contact us online. Our office is located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, where we serve clients in and around Tewksbury, Hunterdon County, Monmouth County, Morris County, and Warren County.