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What if My Spouse Does Not Sign the Divorce Papers?

Talk to a Towson Divorce Lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC About the Maryland Divorce Process

If your spouse does not sign your divorce papers, it adds some steps to the process, but you and your attorney also have options to keep the process moving forward. In Maryland, either spouse has the right to file a Complaint for Absolute Divorce, and your spouse does not have to agree with you for you to be able to do this.

Filing a Complaint for Absolute Divorce

The divorce process can be much faster and easier when both parties agree to end the marriage and work together to decide on the terms such as division of assets and child custody if applicable. However this is not always possible, and one spouse may be hoping for reconciliation or worse, trying to derail the divorce out of spite. Whatever the reason, your divorce lawyer can file a Complaint for Absolute Divorce.

Normally this paperwork would be accepted and then signed. In Maryland, the person who served a Complaint for Absolute Divorce has 30 days to file a response. If they live outside Maryland, the deadline is 60 days. Failure to sign or respond to the Complaint within these deadlines gives you the opportunity to file a request for an Order of Default. A hearing date will be set with the court.

Once the default request has been entered, your spouse has 30 days to respond and file a motion to vacate the default. They must state in their motion why they failed to respond by the deadline and why the court should excuse their lack of response. If no motion to vacate default is scheduled by the 30-day deadline, a default hearing will be held without your spouse’s participation. You may give testimony and evidence about your divorce case at the hearing.

Refusal to participate and attend the hearing will result in a default divorce judgment where, with sufficient evidence, the court may grant you any support you have requested, along with the division of assets and child custody.

What if My Spouse Does Not Sign the Final Settlement?

Sometimes, a spouse will participate in the entire divorce process and then refuse to sign the final agreement that states the divorce terms. If your spouse signed an initial separation agreement but refuses to sign the judgment of Absolute Divorce, your lawyer can file a motion to have the separation agreement with the terms of custody, support, and division of assets enforced and incorporated into the judgment of Absolute Divorce.

Talk to a Towson Divorce Lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC About the Maryland Divorce Process

You do not need the cooperation of your spouse to file for divorce. If your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, contact Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC today to speak with a compassionate Towson divorce lawyer. Schedule a free consultation by calling 443-589-0150 or completing our online form. Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we represent clients in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.

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