What can I do if my husband is refusing to sign the divorce papers? 39 Answers as of July 02, 2013

My husband and I have one son together, but he is refusing to sign the divorce decree. Also I am seeking alimony after 8 years. Is proof of anything required for the court to decide in my favor? I haven't worked at all during the marriage.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
If he will not sign a separation agreement, then you will have to to to trial. You must have a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/26/2012
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
File the Petition in the Court and have him served.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 3/26/2012
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
The information you provided is insufficient for me to provide you a detailed response. I assume from your question that you had a trial, that somebody prepared the divorce decree, that the divorce decree was provided to your husband to sign to demonstrate that it conforms to the Court's pronounced judgment, and that your husband is refusing to sign it. If my assumption is correct,your attorney can provide the Court a Declaration stating that your attorney provided the proposed Judgment to your husband over 10 days ago, and that your husband has failed and/or refused to sign, approve or disapprove the proposed Judgment. That Declaration would likely justify the Court's signing the Judgment without your husband's signature.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/25/2012
Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
If your husband will not agree to sign the Decree, a contested divorce must be resolved by a trial. Under Washington state law, In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, the court may grant "maintenance" to either spouse. (In may states maintenance is referred to as "alimony".) The court does not consider marital misconduct when awarding maintenance. Pursuant to statute[RCW 26.09.090], you must present evidence at trial on the following factors: i. The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance and that party's ability to meet his or her needs independently; ii. The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find employment appropriate to his or her skill, interest, style of life, and other attendant circumstances; iii. The standard of living established during the marriage; iv. The length of marriage; v. the age, physical and emotional condition, and the financial obligations of the spouse seeking maintenance; and vi. The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his or her needs and financial obligations while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/23/2012
Reynolds Law Group LLC. | Thomas E. Reynolds Jr.
Set the court date for 31 days after he has been served.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/22/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You do not need your husband to sign but you do need to have a hearing to get the documents signed and you will need proof of the request you are seeking.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    Your husband does not sign the divorce "decree". The Judge does. The parties may enter into and sign a Settlement Agreement, or even a Joint Parenting Plan, but neither of these are necessary to finalize your divorce. You can argue your case and the Judge will decide and enter a Judgment accordingly. Whether you are entitled to spousal support, called alimony or maintenance, depends upon the reasons you did not work, the reasons you are currently unable to meet your own financial needs, and whether your husband has the ability to pay support to you after meeting his own reasonable financial needs. At the very least, you should be entitled to child support if your home is designated as your son's for school and mailing purposes.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    If your husband refuses to sign a divorce decree, you could always request a hearing/trial be set. There are two types of spousal support, interim and final. If you are requesting interim spousal support, you must prove that you are in need of support as you income is not enough to pay your bills, and your husband has the ability to pay - his income exceeds his living expenses. You must prove the same to receive final spousal support but must also prove that you were free of fault in the breakup of the marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    There are ways to move forward with your case even if you soon to be ex spouse has stopped cooperating. However, there are not enough facts here to advise you how to proceed with the case or what will happen with your support request. You should consult a family law attorney about how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    You cannot make him agree. You can sue him, hire a lawyer and do this right or you can sit back and do nothing but you cannot make him sign or agree. As for alimony, it is unconstitutional in Texas, so if he has a brain (at least enough to look on the internet or call a lawyer) you will not get alimony.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
    You question needs clarification as to what "papers" you are referring to. Even if a spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, you can still go forward with your Complaint for Divorce. In order for you to get alimony, you will have to demonstrate the financial need for you to get it and the financial ability on the part of your Husband to pay. Child support will also be awarded and this could affect the amount of alimony you receive. It is suggested that you speak with an attorney about the alimony matter since new alimony laws came into effect in the Commonwealth of MA recently.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Set the matter for trial or long cause so the judge can make a ruling on these contested or undecided issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Gregory C. Graf
    Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
    You should set the case for trial (permanent orders). People refuse to agree all the time. Regarding maintenance (alimony), many factors go into the decision on whether you will receive maintenance; you should discuss this with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    I think what you mean is that your husband is refusing to sign the joint petition for divorce on the grounds of Irreconcilable Differences. If you the two of you cannot agree to get a divorce on the grounds of Irreconcilable Differences, which requires both of you to sign the paperwork agreeing to the divorce, and you still want the divorce, you would have to sue him for divorce alleging that he has engaged in misconduct that gives you at least one of the 13 grounds for divorce in Mississippi. The most common fault ground for divorce in Mississippi is Habitual, Cruel and Inhuman treatment. As for your alimony question, yes you do need to put on proof to support your claim for alimony. I'd suggest you hire an experienced divorce attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    He isn't required to sign a petition for divorce, have him served. As for a final agreement, if you can't come to an agreement you will have to have a contested divorce and let the judge decide who pays what.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    California attorney answering this question and applying California law: In California, a petitioner (you) does not need your husband's signature to get divorced. While you may not realize it, your question is percolating with many sub-issues, for example: was he properly served with the divorce papers, did he file a response, have you served him with the mandatory preliminary financial disclosures, etc., etc.) In California, you don't need your husband's consent to get divorced; and, if he refuses to file a response to the petition for dissolution, you can proceed with asking the court to enter his default and then asking the court to finalize the divorce. Know this, however, this short response does not begin to answer your question, because there are so many issues related to an 8-year marriage-not just "alimony." (We refer to it as spousal support.) If you can't afford to hire an attorney, here are some options to consider: 1. Talk to an attorney for a free 20-30 free consultation in order to, at the very least, identify ALL your legal issues. (He or she will explain the importance of identifying ALL legal issues in your petition for dissolution); 2. Hire an attorney to provide coaching legal services only (limited scope). Rather that represent you, he or she just coaches YOU through the legal process, such as answering your questions. 3. Buy some good books on the subject. Below are some links to a great books: How to Do Your Own Divorce in California-2012 http://www.nolo.com/products/how-to-do-your-own-divorce-in-california-CDIV.h tml?kbid=3548 Divorce Bundle-Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce, Divorce Without Court, A Judge's Guide to Divorce: http://www.nolo.com/products/nolos-divorce-bundle-NODVBUN.html?kbid=3548 Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce: http://www.nolo.com/products/nolos-essential-guide-to-divorce-NODV.html?kbid =3548 Divorce & Money: http://www.nolo.com/products/divorce- &-money-DIMO.html?kbid=3548 Building a Parenting Agreement That Works http://www.nolo.com/products/building-a-parenting-agreement-that-works-CUST. html?kbid=3548 Divorce Without Court-A Guide to Mediation and Collaborative Divorce http://www.nolo.com/products/divorce-without-court-DWCT.html?kbid=3548 Divorce After 50 http://www.nolo.com/products/divorce-after-50-DIVL.html?kbid=3548
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    There isn't anything that he has to sign, unless you are trying to get him to sign a settlement agreement of some sort, which obviously he isn't in agreement with! You really need to consult with an attorney, as it sounds as if you are going about the process all wrong and likely will not achieve the result you are seeking.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    You need to have your attorney file suit for divorce, and you will have to go to a temporary hearing in order to obtain legal custody of your child, together with child support and alimony.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Ask for a hearing in which you will have to prove every allegation.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    The Law Firm of Hayley A Silverberg, PLLC | Hayley Silverberg
    If your husband has not answered the complaint for divorce, the court may enter a default judgment without his signature. The court looks at several factors when awarding spousal support and it is not an automatic right.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/22/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You do not need his signature on anything to pursue a divorce. There is no requirement for either of you to sign the decree - that is what the judge signs to say you are divorced.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Get a final hearing set. Present evidence that he makes money and you don't and request that the Judge award you spousal support.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    If you can't reach an agreement you will have to try your case to the court. The factors required for post-divorce maintenance are set forth in detail in the section of the Texas Family Code governing this issue. Rather than copy it verbatim, I will defer to your reading of that section. I will note that generally, absent family violence, courts award temporary maintenance but not post-divorce maintenance in marriages under ten years.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    The court will want evidence of your finances, expenses, income, property values, characterization of property, health and financial futures.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Bring the issue before the Court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    A divorce decree requires only a judge's signature to be valid. If your soon to be ex-husband refuses to sign, especially if he is backing out on a settlement he previously agreed to, you need to let the judge now. Since you're also asking for alimony, I recommend a good divorce attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Speaker Law Firm
    Speaker Law Firm | Theodore Speaker
    Yes - you may need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/2/2013
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    Your husband doesn't have to sign anything. You can file the papers with the court and ask for a hearing. The judge will then decide how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    I do not know what you are talking about. If you are talking about a property settlement agreement, you can not compel settlement. He is entitled to a trial if that's what he wants.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    McIlveen Family Law Firm
    McIlveen Family Law Firm | Angela McIlveen
    I am a bit confused by your question. In NC, a spouse does not have to sign a divorce decree in order for a spouse to get a divorce. In order to get a divorce, a married couple must live separate and apart for at least one year and at least one party to the divorce must have lived in NC for the six months preceding the filing of the divorce. Once the divorce is granted, alimony is waived. If a person wants to pursue alimony claims they must be done prior to the granting of a divorce. Also, a person seeking alimony should be careful not to sign any documents such as a separation agreement without having an attorney review it, because it might stop the person from getting alimony in the future. In NC there are a number of factors involved in whether the court will award alimony and if the court awards alimony how much the court will award. I strongly suggest you consult with a local attorney about the specific facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli | Robert D. Rosanelli
    By "refusing to sign the divorce papers," I assume that you mean that he will not enter into an agreement with you. He does not have to enter into any agreement. You may proceed to trial if you desire.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
    If there is no agreement as to the final papers, you need to go to trial to have the Judge decide the issues. And yes, if you want maintenance, you have to prove that you have the need and he has the ability to pay which will take a good deal of evidence properly introduced into evidence at trial.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    SHAPIRO LAW GROUP | ERIC L. SHAPIRO
    If your husband will not sign, you will need the assistance of the Court to settle your divorce. You should contact an attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Blackledge Law Firm, PA | Joel Blackledge
    In Mississippi, he only has to "sign" for an agreed upon, irreconcilable divorce. Your alternative is to sue on fault based grounds.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/21/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    He can be served by personal service and his signature will not be required
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/21/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney