UPDATED: An obstinate ex can cause a plethora of challenges during the divorce process. This can slow down the process, drag things out, and cost tons of additional money. But what happens if they flat out refuse to sign the Marital Settlement Agreement?
Refusing to sign the Marital Settlement Agreement occurs for a variety of reasons. Regardless of why one party refuses to sign the settlement agreement, the result is a significant delay in the divorce process.
The only way a divorce becomes final is with a judgement.
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What Is a Marital Settlement Agreement?
A marital settlement agreement is a document that lays out the specifics of any agreement a couple comes to in divorce. This often includes child custody, the division of property, and even spousal support. It goes by many names, depending on where you live, and is often simply called a divorce agreement.
Related Reading: Uncontested Divorce Questions
How Do I Procure A Judgement?
There are three different routes to procuring 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.
- Finally, a judgment can be obtained by taking the divorce to trial.
If your ex refuses to sign the Marital Settlement Agreement, you will most likely be facing a trial.
While going to trial can be expensive and will slow down the divorce process, it will guarantee that a judgment is made and your divorce will become final.
If you are seeking a divorce and are facing a spouse that refuses to cooperate, you aren’t without options.
To begin the divorce process you will need to file a petition with the appropriate court —usually this will be 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.
Related Reading: Why Does Divorce Take So Long?