How can I get a divorce if my wife won't sign the papers? 23 Answers as of April 30, 2013

My wife left me 8 years ago and moved to Delaware with her lover. In those eight years, I have drafted numerous divorce papers which she refuses to sign. Is there a way to get divorced without her signature? Also since she has been convicted of fraud is there any way to use her history against her so I do not have to pay her alimony since honestly, I can't afford to and she only uses the money to drink.

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Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
Your wife doesn't have to sign anything. All you have to do is file a divorce petition stating that irreconcilable differences exist in your marriage. Then she has to be personally served in Delaware. Then if she doesn't file a response within thirty days you can take her default and proceed to divorce. If she does file a response, you file a memo to set the case for trial and a settlement conference will be scheduled by the court. If the case doesn't settle at that time, a trial date will be scheduled shortly thereafter.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/23/2012
LAW OFFICE OF ANNE B. HOWARD | Anne B. Howard
You have to have her personally served. If she doesn't respond file for a default. Get legal help with the paperwork so you get this done.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/21/2012
Law Office of Rhonda Ellifritz | Rhonda Ellifritz
You can go forward by default.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/21/2012
Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
You don't necessarily need her signature to get divorced. You should file the complaint and have the summons issued. Send the Summons and a copy of the complaint to a process server where she lives for personal service on her. After she is served, she will have 28 days to answer. If she fails to answer, you can enter a default and proceed without her signature or approval. If she does answer, she will have to appear at scheduled court hearing or face default.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/21/2012
John Russo | John Russo
I have had it with this question from people, I have never heard in all my years of practice that either party had to sign a divorce petition before they can proceed, I am aware of a few jurisdictions in the South that have some very weird rules like you can't file until you live separate and apart for 1 year, or stupid rules along those lines, but this signing stuff I have really had it with. Check with the clerks office in your state and read the rules of procedure for domestic relations, since you want to do this yourself, and you obviously do not have a clue, NO ONE HAS TO SIGN TO AGREE TO A DIVORCE IN THE MAJORITY OF JURISDICTIONS IN THIS COUNTRY. Learn about what you are doing, if you want to continue on your own or it will take you another 8 years. If by some chance you are talking about service of process, then you do need a lawyer because you will never get through this because that is the easiest part of any proceeding. You send it to the closest sheriffs department in the state she is living in with a check call them, they really talk, they serve her if she won't sign the sheriff writes on the notice I served so and so in hand on a certain date, there all done. Hire a lawyer before she is in a retirement home.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 11/21/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You can ask that the court give you a final trial date so that you can get divorced even if your spouse will not sign.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    You don't need her signature. File a complaint for divorce. If you know where she lives, serve her. If you don't file an Affidavit for Publication. Once she is served and doesn't file an answer file a default.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You need only serve your divorce petition on her to commence the divorce process. If she fails to file an answer in the requisite time required by the court, you can take her default. Be sure to include in the petition a request to terminate your wife's right to support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Consent is not required. Just sue her for divorce and let the process take its course.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Kingloff & Travis | William K Travis
    From your question we assume that you and your former wife were residents of Georgia at the time you separated. Georgia law permits you to bring a petition for divorce against her in your home county if you have been a resident of Georgia for at least six months before filing the petition. You may file in the county of your residence in the Superior Court and serve her with the papers by publication in the legal newspaper for your county (the clerk's office can give you that information) and by certified mail as well. You have not asked about anything other than obtaining a divorce and this answer deals only with the divorce itself.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2013
    Blough Law Office | Janis L. Blough
    You don't need your wife to sign anything to get divorced. An experienced attorney can help you through the process of entering a "default" judgment if your wife refuses to respond to you. Additionally, although you don't say how long you have been married, her abandonment of you/the marriage for eight years would be a consideration for alimony and should weigh heavily in your favor. Her history of fraud will bear on her credibility if she does appear in the case, and you/your attorney can argue she should not be believed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    In Colorado, and in most all states, there is no requirement for your wife to sign anything in order for you to get a divorce. All that is required is that she be properly served notice of the legal proceedings. Specific rules concerning how to accomplish service may be different in each state. Since you don't indicate where you are now living, it isn't possible to provide more information about handling your case. In most states, if you have been separated for 8 years it would seem unlikely you would be requested to pay spousal maintenance (alimony) but there are no absolute rules and you need to consult an attorney to discuss all the facts and circumstances relevant to your various options.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    There is no alimony in Texas. It is unconstitutional and if you have been paying it, you should have used that money to hire a lawyer and saved a lot of money over the last 8 years. The answer to your question is yes, you can get a divorce without her signature and yes you can use that information (fraud) against her if it is relevant to any issues _again no alimony in Texas so it may not be relevant to anything. You do need a lawyer to get this filed and served properly though.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    Yes you can get a divorce without her signature, and you will not have to pay alimony.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Theodora Fader | Theodora Fader
    If you are in Michigan, you do not need your spouse's signature to get a divorce, so long as your spouse is properly served with the complaint for divorce and has notice of the proceedings. You should hire an attorney to assist you so you can get your case completed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Sapiro Gottlieb & Kroll | Lawrence Kroll
    There is a procedure to get a default judgment against someone. Only the Court can grant a divorce-you can't have your wife "sign" anything and obtain a divorce. You obviously have not spoken to an attorney, because if you had, this would have been resolved years ago. You file a Complaint for divorce, serve her with it, and if she does not appear, you can get a default judgment. You might need help with the procedure from an attorney. As to spousal support, based on the facts you provided there is no way to give you a definite answer, but it appears you have not been supporting her for the last eight years.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    You don't need her signature to get divorced, it's just easier if she signs.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Pollock & Associates LLC | Candice Ragsdale-Pollock, CWL
    In reply, if you are in Utah, you can obtain a divorce without her signature as follows: 1) file a divorce complaint, 2) have her served either personally or by way of publication if you do not have an address to serve her; 3) if she does not respond within 30 days, you can then file for a default decree; 4) if she answers you can force the issue by certification that you are ready to go to trial and since the two of you have apart for 8 years there is nothing left to divide - no alimony would be awarded since she left with a lover and has obviously been living on her own all this time and doesn't need funds from you.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Langford Law Firm
    Langford Law Firm | Theresa Langford
    Of course you can. File the Petition, have her served, set it for trial, and get divorced. In Texas, it is unlikely that she would get spousal support. If you are unclear how to proceed with these steps, retain a family lawyer in your area to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You, young man YOU need a divorce lawyer. You are worried about paying years of alimony to an alcoholic? There is a lot at risk here, and you do not want to risk losing all of that. You need a lawyer to sit down with you and give you some advice. I can explain things in detail in person after we talk. I will explain what legal issues I see, and what I can do to assist you. This will be a free consultation. After we talk, you can decide what you would like to do.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/20/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If she will not sign the papers, you must proceed with a contested divorce by serving the papers and filing them in court and proceeding toward trial.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/20/2012
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