You went through all the back and forth, all the negotiations, all the blood, sweat, and tears to hammer out a divorce agreement. Then your ex decides not to sign the divorce papers. What do you do now?
An obstinate ex causes a plethora of challenges during a divorce. This slows down the process, drags things out, and costs tons of additional money. But what happens if they flat-out refuse to sign the final documents?
What can you do if your ex won’t sign the divorce papers?
Refusing to sign the Marital Settlement Agreement occurs for a variety of reasons. Regardless of why your ex won’t cooperate, the result is a significant delay in ending your marriage. The divorce isn’t final until you have an official judgment.
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What Is a Marital Settlement Agreement?
A marital settlement agreement is the document that lays out the specifics of any agreement a couple comes to in a divorce.
This includes child custody, the division of property, spousal support, and more. You find all of the details and important information here.
It goes by different names, depending on where you live. Most often we simply call it the divorce agreement or divorce settlement.
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How Do I Procure A Judgement if My Ex Won’t Sign the Divorce Papers?
The silver lining is you have options if your ex won’t sign the divorce papers. You have three potential routes to take to procure a judgment: settlement, default, or trial.
- A settlement is “the resolution of a lawsuit (or legal dispute prior to filing a complaint or petition) avoiding the need for trial or other litigation.”
- Default occurs if your ex fails to respond to the action. Basically, they don’t show up and you get what you want.
- Finally, a judgment can be obtained by taking the divorce to trial. Both sides present their cases and a judge ultimately rules on the matters at hand.
If your ex refuses to sign the Marital Settlement Agreement, you will most likely face a trial.
Going to trial gets expensive and slows down the divorce process exponentially. This happens when you exhaust all other possibilities. It does, however, guarantee a judgment and that your divorce becomes final.
If you are seeking a divorce and face a spouse that refuses to cooperate, it’s nice to know you aren’t without options.
To begin the divorce process you need to file a petition with the appropriate court—usually with the family court.
Filing this petition only requires one signature, meaning you can initiate the divorce processes even if your ex refuses to cooperate.
Before filing the petition, the first step is to get accurate advice about your personal situation. It’s best to consult a professional or retain an experienced divorce lawyer. They’ll know how best to move forward and what legal hoops you have to jump through.
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