What to Do When Your Spouse Will Not Sign Divorce Papers
When you want nothing more than to move on with your life after your marriage has come to an end, your ex can continue to make your life difficult by refusing to sign your divorce papers. This is known as a contested divorce, and they are more common than you might think.
Fortunately, your spouse cannot keep you from obtaining a divorce for long, though they can delay the process. Continue reading to learn more about the steps you should take when your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers.
Pennsylvania Contested Divorce Process
When one spouse does not want to give their consent for a divorce, it will simply prolong the divorce process. Your spouse cannot keep you locked in your marriage forever, but the courts will typically require that you be separated from your spouse for a minimum of two years before a contested divorce will be granted.
Even then, the divorce could take even longer to finalize if your spouse still refuses to give their consent. If this happens, a hearing will be ordered and you will have the opportunity to plead your case to the judge.
In some cases, the judge may believe it is possible for you and your spouse to reconcile. If this is the case for you, you may be ordered to participate in marriage counseling before a divorce will be granted. Though the process can be quite longer in contested divorces, you can rest a little easier knowing you will eventually be able to move on with your life.
The Terms of Your Divorce Settlement
If your spouse is refusing to give their consent for a divorce, you will more than likely find it difficult to work through the terms of your divorce settlement including the division of your marital property and assets and/or alimony.
Though Pennsylvania does not recognize legal separations, it may be in your best interests to obtain a civil separation order so your property, debts, and assets can be distributed fairly, a financial support order implemented, if applicable, and an official separation date set. These details will be essential to the finalization of your divorce.
Contact a PA Divorce Lawyer
If you are interested in ending your marriage but your spouse is making it difficult to do so, contact a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. You can give our office a call at 1-844-VARI-LAW (827-4529) or complete the online contact form we have provided at the bottom of this page when you are ready to schedule your consultation with us.