Signing divorce papers


Signing divorce papers

Document with pen on a table with couple in backgroundWhat happens if you don’t sign divorce papers?

In the state of New Jersey, one party cannot force the other party to remain married. Procedurally, even if one party will not sign the divorce papers, eventually, a judgment of divorce will be granted by the court.

If you are contemplating filing for divorce, but anticipate that your spouse will not cooperate with signing divorce papers, be sure that you consult with a family law practitioner so that you understand your rights and how to best navigate the process moving forward. 

Is it illegal to not sign divorce papers? 

While it is not illegal not to sign divorce papers, it is necessary to understand that if you elect not to participate in the divorce process, the process will happen without your participation. You will find that what happens if you don’t sign divorce papers is that the divorce will proceed without your involvement. 

Can you be forced to sign divorce papers?

In certain circumstances, the court has the authority and jurisdiction to compel a person to execute documentation. 

However, even if your spouse refuses to execute the divorce papers, you will be divorced. Sometimes people think if they ignore the paperwork and make the decision not to sign divorce papers that the divorce will not happen, or the process will be stalled and cause harm to the other party. While the process may be delayed and cause both emotional and financial expense to the other party, the divorce will happen. 

In New Jersey, if one party chooses not to participate in the divorce, ultimately the divorce will be granted. The best approach is to be involved so that both parties have control over the final outcome. Family law matters are unlike other matters, because they are very personal and courts encourage people to be involved in creating a settlement that involves very intimate details concerning children, assets, financial support, and all of the other issues that come along with dissolving a marriage. 

How long does a divorce take if one party doesn’t agree?

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how long a divorce could take. While the court is required to allow the appropriate time to expire before proceeding on a default, there is an expectation that both parties will comply with the rules of court, and make the reasonable choices. If they do not do so, the court will grant the judgment of divorce, and enter an order, directing the resolution of the issues raised by the party that filed the complaint for divorce.

Can my wife divorce me if I don’t sign?

Yes, the plaintiff, whether it be a husband or wife, can move forward and divorce their spouse whether they are signing the divorce papers or not.

What happens if you refuse to sign divorce papers?

The court can compel you to comply with whatever terms the court determines at the time of the final hearing.

Signing divorce papers and making the effort to reach a settlement is the best approach. Even if the settlement cannot be reached, it is essential that both parties participate in the process, engage counsel when you are able to do so and participate in the process. Even if the case cannot be resolved, and needs to proceed to trial. It is still far better to proceed to trial, hopefully with appropriate legal representation,  than to allow the matter to move forward without your involvement.  Divorce can be unpleasant but participating in the resolution is much more beneficial than to have the court dictate the outcome without your input.

Here at DeTorres & DeGeorge , our attorneys have demonstrated an effective approach to guiding clients and handling situations that may not be going as smoothly as you had envisioned. Contact us today if you have questions about signing divorce papers and you want to know what happens if you don’t sign divorce papers or your spouse doesn’t sign the divorce papers after they are served.


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