Am I obligated to sign divorce papers if I do no want a divorce? 26 Answers as of July 23, 2011

My husband wants a divorce & I don’t we have a house & assets & a loan he just took out from his 401k of 20.000.00 I asked for half of that & he said if he gives me half he doesn’t have to pay for my attorney we also have a 14yr old girl, aim also scared of what he might do to her alone.

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You should at least consult, if not retain, an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in the divorce. You shouldn't be the victim of your husband's intimidation. Don't bury your head in the sand and allow your husband to "do it" to you. Participate in the divorce - if your husband filed the divorce, you don't have a choice as to whether or not there will be a divorce. You should timely file and serve your Response, so that your participation won't be barred by a Default being entered against you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/23/2011
Michael Rose Attorney at Law
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
Do not let him do the divorce alone. If he files he can get a divorce without you. It would be wise to respond so you can get your share. And it is not true what you said about the 401K and the attorney fees...not sure what he meant. You will want child support from him if it works out that way.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/20/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
Unfortunately for you, in Connecticut, to get a divorce only one person must testify at trial that the marriage has broken down with no chance of getting back together. You will get divorced. As to the assets and custody, that will be negotiated between the two of you (with or without attorneys) or a court will make the decisions if you two can't.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/20/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
You are not obligated to sign divorce documents, but your husband would then petition the Court for a divorce and you would have to participate or he would get everything he wants including the divorce. I urge you to talk with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 7/20/2011
Osterman Law LLC
Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
Find a lawyer. You are gettig blackmailed by your soon-to-be Ex. The judge will see you get some money for your lawyer. If he took $20K, he must have more. Get a lawyer and go collect.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/20/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    No. There is nothing in Colorado divorce procedure that compels you to sign anything, unless you want to protect your financial rights in the divorce. Under Colorado law, your consent or agreement to the divorce is not necessary and there is nothing you can do to stop the divorce from happening. However, you cannot expect to get any share of the marital property, financial support, child support, or any parenting plan (defining custody & parenting responsibilities) unless you defend yourself and participate in the proceedings. You need to consult an attorney to get a better understanding of your options and possibilities based on your actual situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    Wisconsin only requires one party for the divorce. Usually you each pay for your own attorney, so if the money hasn't been used, I would take half. Sounds like you may also have a placement dispute as you go along unless he doesn't fight her living with you.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You can't stop the divorce by not cooperating and not cooperating canhurt you. You need to see an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
    Find an attorney who can assist you. If you cannot afford one, contact Legal Services 401-274-2652 or the Lawyer Referral service the Rhode Island Bar Association 401-421-7758. Signing divorce papers is a common misconception. Once you are served, and you fail to answer, you may be divorced in default - with the court granting all of your spouse's requests if you have failed to answer.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    No, you don't have to sign the divorce papers. The reality is, however, if one person wants to be divorced, then, in general, there is going to be a divorce. It sounds like you don't want to sign the papers. It also sounds like there are a number of unresolved issues in your case. Therefore, it would be a contested divorce. In such a case, all of the issues are on the table, including division of property, division of debts, maintenance, parenting plan and child support. If the two of you cannot reach an agreement on all of these issues, then, a trial court will need to decide them.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law either party is entitled to a divorce if they want one. You are not obligated to sign the divorce papers, but not signing the papers won't keep him from getting a divorce. If he files the divorce and you file a response, then if the two of you cannot work out a settlement, then the case goes to trial for the court to decide the terms of the divorce. If he files the divorce (and has you served with the papers) and you do not file a response, then he can get a default judgment, which means the terms of the divorce will be whatever he wants (so don't fail to respond). If you have fears that your husband may abuse your daughter, then you should file a motion in the divorce action to request temporary restrictions on visitation pending a parenting evaluation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Do not sign anything without consulting an attorney. If you do, you could be giving up valuable rights that you don't even know you have. And yes, you are entitled to at least half of everything that was accrued during the marriage, including any retirement or 401k that he might have, and he may also be required to contribute to part or all of your attorney fees. As for your daughter, if there are serious and legitimate concerns, he can potentially be ordered to only have supervised timesharing. Additionally, there may be issues regarding child support and/or alimony that need to be resolved. You should definitely consult with an experienced family law attorney to assist you in this process and to help protect you and your child's rights. As for stopping the divorce, if he really wants one, you cannot stop him. However, you can make sure that you get everything that you and your daughter are entitled to. You should contact an attorney in your area immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you retain a divorce lawyer as soon as possible and that you consult with your divorce lawyer before you decide whether or not to sign anything. Your divorce lawyer will advise you as to all your rights and options conceirng property division and child custody. See a lawyer ASAP. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    He can obtain a divorce without your consent. You should consult with an attorney in your area for detailed responses to your other questions.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    Unfortunately for your situation, it only takes one person to get a divorce. You do not have to sign a settlement. If you do not enter into a settlement, however, your case will proceed forward to a trial and the Judge will decide how your assets and divided.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    You can always take it to trial to try and get sole custody if you are concerned about your daughters welfare.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Offices of Lopez, Pyrchalla & Kaufman, LLC
    Law Offices of Lopez, Pyrchalla & Kaufman, LLC | Russell I. Kaufman
    You do not have to sign anything that you do not want to sign. This is the reason why there is a Judge. If the two parties can not reach an agreement then the Judge will make the decision for you and you never know how a judge might rule.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You are not obligated to sign a settlement agreement, but it only takes one to get a divorce in Georgia and if your spouse wants a divorce, eventually there will be a divorce. You should have a consultation with an attorney regarding your specific situation and get information regarding property division, spousal support, custody, and child support.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    California is a no fault divorce state. Either spouse can ask for and receive a divorce, whether you "sign" or not. What you need to do is to immediately contact an experienced family law firm to help you so you are protected as to child custody and support and to make sure you receive what you are legally entitled to in the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    Washington is a no fault State. Assets/Liabilities are divided fairly and equitably. The Court will implement a parenting plan in your child's best interests.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You don't have to sign any agreement, but if he files divorce papers, you must file a response or he will get all that he wants without any input from you. You should contact an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    To Whom It May Concern: You do not have to sign divorce papers, but you cannot stop your husband from divorcing you under California law (California is a so-called 'No Fault' divorce state). You have aright to child and spousal support and your husband is completely wrong about the money. You must respond to any Petition and Summons, or file your own. Definitely file an Order to Show Cause, re: Child and Spousal Support and Child Custody and Visitation. Any 401K is community property and must be split half and half, at least to whatever extent the money was earned during marriage, assuming that there was no prenuptial agreement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    You need to consult a domestic relations lawyer immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC
    Rosenberg & Press, LLC | Christopher D. Hite
    Technically, you don't have to agree to anything and can go to trial. However, if you are trying to prevent him from legally obtaining a dissolution of marriage, you will not succeed. It definitely sounds like you need the assistance of an attorney. I would be happy to further discuss this matter with you.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/19/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You should not sign anything without a lawyer. See a lawyer to determine what support and other relief you are entitled to.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/19/2011
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