What can I do if I want a divorce but my spouse will not sign? 27 Answers as of June 27, 2011

I want to end the marriage but my husband does not.

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Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
Washington is a no-fault dissolution state. You do not need your spouse's consent, agreement or signature for your dissolution to be complete. If there are outstanding issues regarding property and/or child support, it might be a good idea for you to consult with an attorney about the best way to complete your dissolution.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/27/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Have a process server serve the divorce on your husband. He doesn't have to sign to be served. If he doesn't file and serve his Response within 30 days of the date of service on him, you can seek to have his default entered and proceed by way of default hearing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/21/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
File the divorce and have him served. If he fails to respond, you may be able to get divorced by default. If he does respond, then ask the Court for a trial.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/20/2011
Meriwether & Tharp LLC
Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
In Georgia, it only takes one person to get a divorce. If your spouse does not want to sign uncontested papers, you can still file for divorce and have a Sheriff's deputy serve him with the divorce complaint.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/16/2011
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C. | Vanessa Reed
You do not need consent of the other spouse to be divorced. You can file for divorce once you have been separated for the required amount of time, or file immediately if fault grounds exist. Please see my website for additional information on this topic.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/16/2011
    Deal & Hooks, LLC
    Deal & Hooks, LLC | Shawn P. Hooks
    You will not need your husband's signature to obtain a divorce. You can file a divorce, and if he does not contest it all you will need is a witness and a prepared decree. The Court can grant a divorce if the witness testifies that your grounds are true. Even if he never shows up the court can grant and finalize the divorce. It is easier if he is there and agrees, but that is not a requirement in a divorce, only in a dissolution.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You can still file the action.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    In Colorado and most "no-fault" states it only requires one party to end the marriage. There is nothing your spouse needs to sign to allow you to proceed with a divorce. Consult a lawyer to discuss how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Your spouse's signature is unnecessary for you to get a divorce. Now, typically, if the two of you can reach an agreement, and both sign all of the papers, the divorce will be easier, faster, and cheaper than it will be if there is no agreement. But that agreement is not required. You can go ahead with the divorce as a contested case. What is required is that at some point in the process, you will have to go into court and swear that the marriage is irretrievable broken.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    In Texas it takes two to be married, one to quit. That said, if he does not want a divorce, you can plan on him making this difficult. You need a lawyer to file the Petition and get your husband served. From there, the divorce will take one of three routes: (1) he will lay stagnant and do nothing - the divorce will be granted in 60 days; (2) he will file an answer but not fight, the divorce will eventually become final when the court has a slot for a contested hearing - although there will not likely be one; or (3) he will hire a lawyer and this can be as difficult or expensive as the two of you want it to be.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/16/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    You must file paper to have the judge adjudicate the dissolution and property.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law
    Gregory T. Buckley, Attorney at Law | Gregory T. Buckley
    As long as one party believes that the marriage is irretrievably broken, that is all that is necessary to proceed. If he does not want to file an Answer after he is served, the court can merely enter a Default and a Final Hearing can be scheduled to finalize the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law
    Theiler & Mourtos Attorneys at Law | Devan J. Theiler, Esq.
    You do not need your spouse's agreement in order to get a divorce. File a Complaint for Divorce and be certain that you have proper service of the same. If your spouse refuses to participate in the process, he can and will be defaulted. Speak with an attorney in your area about the specific process for a default divorce.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    There are two types of divorces, generally, in Georgia: contested and uncontested. If he won't sign, and won't cooperate in an uncontested divorce, then you should retain a divorce lawyer, get him served, and go the contested divorce route. Talk with your divorce lawyer about your options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    If you are in Connecticut, he doesn't have to sign. You can get a divorce without his agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    Depends on the state. In California, his consent is not required.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Nobody has to stand marriage if they don't want to accept for covenant marriages in the state of Louisiana. Your husband does not have to agree to the divorce, he just needs to be notified that it's going to happen. Please contact a local domestic relations attorney for for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    He doesn't have to sign. Serve him and proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    In IL you do not need the signage of both spouses. It is easier, of course, if both parties can come to an agreement, but not necessary. You may call the office today to speak with an attorney to discuss this in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    In California, you don't need the consent of the other party to divorce. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Hard to answer this question with precision, without knowing more facts. With that said, if your husband won't agree to the proposed settlement terms, and assuming you are the "petitioner," and that your husband didn't file a "response," then you need to finish up your case via "default." There are several steps to obtain a judgment by default. You can contact a local family law lawyer for assistance, or your court's free legal self-help center. If your husband is the "respondent" and filed a response, or you are the "respondent," then to finish your case, you will need a judge to make a ruling on all outstanding issues. To get in front of a judge, you need to first jump through a few hoops, such as requesting a status or case management conference, and then setting the matter for a trial or hearing, depending on what issues are outstanding. Again, best to contact a local family law lawyer for assistance. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    In Georgia, you don't need your spouse's permission or consent to file for divorce. Seek the advice of a lawyer as to how to proceed with a contested divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Shana E. Thompson Law
    Shana E. Thompson Law | Shana Thompson
    In Washington State, the court only requires one party to request a divorce. The other side does not have to agree.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr.
    Law Offices of John J. Ferry, Jr. | John J. Ferry, Jr.
    In Pennsylvania, you can get the divorce finalized without your spouse's consent after you have been separated for two years. Or you can get the divorce finalized sooner if you have grounds for a fault divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    That means you have a contested divorce. You already should have retained a lawyer. You'll simply have to pay him more and see it take longer but if you want a divorce, it will still happen.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law you need to have your husband served with the divorce papers. If he does not respond, you can complete the case by default. If he does respond you either come to agreement or go to trial to determine the terms of the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/15/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    In California, only one party needs to consent to the divorce. We are a no fault state, meaning you may proceed even if the other party does not wish to divorce. You should file for a petition for dissolution and have it served on your husband. Once you have served the paperwork, your husband will have 30 days to respond. If he does not choose to respond, then you may file a default and proceed by default. If he does respond, you will still be granted a divorce even without his consent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/15/2011
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