When filing a divorce, if my husband doesn't sign the papers, what's the next step I will have to take? 12 Answers as of May 21, 2013

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The Houser Law Firm, P.C.
The Houser Law Firm, P.C. | A. Bowden Houser
In North Carolina, your husband isn't required to sign anything so you would simply proceed with the next step in the process.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 5/21/2013
Law Offices of John S. Keating
Law Offices of John S. Keating | John S. Keating
There are two types of divorce in Massachusetts: Contested and uncontested. If you and your husband are able to come to terms on a Separation Agreement, then you can file a joint petition for divorce, and the judge will likely grant your petition for divorce, which would involve approving your Separation Agreement and making that agreement a part of an enforceable judgment of divorce. If you and your husband cannot come to terms on a Separation Agreement, then you would need to file a complaint for divorce on your own, and then have him served with the complaint and a summons. You could then seek a temporary order, which would govern such matters as who has custody of the kids at which times, who has to pay child support and how much, who gets to live in the marital home, etc. while the divorce case is pending. While the case is pending, you and/or your lawyer would seek to negotiate a Separation Agreement with your husband (which, if such an agreement can be reached, is less expensive and less contentious than going to trial). He may or may not want to get divorced, and he may or may not agree with you on child custody, child support, who gets to live in the house while the case is pending, etc., but once the case is filed, and once the judge has indicated his/her disposition on these various matters, then he will hopefully see that negotiating an agreement with you is preferable to fighting in court all the way through a trial. If you have any questions about the above, or decide to retain counsel, please feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 5/20/2013
Kunin &Carman | Ishi Kunin
You will have to have him served formally. He will have 20 days to file an Answer. If he does not you can request a default issue.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/20/2013
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
It depends on the grounds you alleged in your petition; you may not need his signature if you alleged certain grounds or if you have been separated for a certain period of time.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/20/2013
Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
Retain an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/20/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Ask the court to enter the default judgment if your spouse does not respond. If your spouse does respond, then you have to go to trial if it cannot be resolved.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/20/2013
    Setting the matter down for a final hearing and letting the judge make the final decision.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/20/2013
    Ronald Main & Associates | Tracian M. Laignel
    If your husband does not agree to the divorce decree, you can always ask the judge for a default divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 5/20/2013
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    File a contested case. It does not require his signature.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/20/2013
    Webster & Associates | Anita Webster
    You will need to file and serve him with a Complaint for divorce. He then has 20 days to respond after he is served. If he fails to respond within the 20 days, the default process can be started. If he defaults, then it is as if the divorce is uncontested and you would need to submit all the necessary documents to accomplish the divorce. This response is intended to provide general information only and is not a substitute for speaking to an attorney. This response does not create an attorney client relationship between the Anita Webster, Esq. or Webster & Associates and the readers.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/20/2013
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    Sign what papers. He doesn't have to sign to be served. Have you had him properly served with divorce papers? if yes and 30 days have elapsed, you can take his default and proceed to a judgment without his input. If he hasn't been properly served, do that first and then go from there. He doesn't have to sign anything to get the divorce completed. It simply is easier if the parties agree and both sign and agreement.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2013
    John T. Belton, Attorney at Law | John T. Belton
    If both parties do not agree to the terms and conditions concerning all marital issues, then the only option is to move forward with the divorce case and having those issues determined by the Court in a trial.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/20/2013
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