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Does It Really Take Two to Divorce?


You might have heard people complain that they want to divorce, but their spouse refuses to go along with the process.  Divorcing a stubborn spouse is no fun, but it is no worse than being married to a stubborn spouse.  At least two reality TV stars from Florida have publicly commented that their estranged spouses refuse to sign divorce papers, but from a legal perspective, this is not enough to prevent a divorce.  The only time that you need both spouses’ signatures on a divorce petition is when you are trying to get an uncontested divorce, which is very difficult to do, except in two types of cases.  The first is when it was a brief marriage where the couple did not have children or own real estate property together.  The second is where the parties have already been meeting with lawyers, so that they have already worked out all the issues before filing the divorce petition.  For everyone else, it is technically possible to accomplish your divorce single-handedly, but it is easier to do it with the help of a Boca Raton divorce lawyer.

The Court Can Dissolve Your Marriage, Even If Your Spouse Does Not Cooperate With the Divorce Process

In a contested divorce, only one spouse must sign the divorce petition.  Then, a professional process server must deliver the petition to the other spouse.  In most cases, the recipient spouse signs to acknowledge that he or she has received the petition, but if the recipient spouse refuses to accept the petition or evades the process server’s attempts to deliver it, the process server may simply sign to acknowledge that he or she has made reasonable efforts to serve the divorce petition.

If your spouse ignores your divorce petition, or even if your spouse is nowhere to be found, it is still possible to move forward with the divorce.  If your spouse does not file a response by the deadline, you can request a default judgment in your divorce, just as plaintiffs in civil lawsuits can do when the defendant does not respond.  To issue a default divorce judgment, the court must schedule a hearing.  The court must make reasonable efforts to notify your spouse of the date of the hearing and his or her right to attend.  If your spouse or your spouse’s attorney does not attend the default judgment hearing, then the court will issue your default divorce judgment.  If this happens, then the court will grant you all the requests about property division and parenting time that you made in your divorce petition.  You should still hire a lawyer, even if you think your divorce case will result in a default judgment.

Contact Schwartz | White About Getting a Default Divorce

A South Florida family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce if your spouse has ghosted you or refuses to acknowledge your efforts to get a divorce.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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