What Happens If I Don't Sign Divorce Papers?
Divorce is a difficult process, and it may be unexpected and not what you planned for or wanted. Sadly, despite your feelings on the matter, your husband or spouse can still file for and receive a divorce decree, which is why it is necessary for you to participate and protect your interest. The Law Firm of Victoria offers divorce lawyers for women, and all of them are prepared and willing to take on your case. However, all of them will likely inform you to actively participate in the process and sign the divorce papers, making any legitimate disputes known before the court-ordered deadline. Although, if you decide not to sign the documents, the process will still move forward and likely not in your favor.
Filing and Notification
When your spouse files for a divorce, they are filing a petition, which stipulates marital assets and other pertinent information. Additionally, the petition allows your spouse to paint the picture for the reasons for the divorce. In other words, a petition enables the filer to present their side of the relationship story. Once filed, your spouse must notify you of the petition by sending you a copy and other documents through a personal service or certified mail. The other materials will stipulate a deadline for your response. You should take this as an opportunity to explain your side of the relationship, stating whether you agree with your spouse’s assessment or you contest what is presented. However, if you choose not to respond, your spouse will likely move forward with the next phase.
Avoidance and Service by Publication
While most divorce attorneys for women recommend responding to the initial paperwork, some women do not follow this advice. If you instead decide to avoid the paperwork, making it difficult or nearly impossible for your spouse to locate you, then your husband or significant other can go to a judge and seek permission to serve the divorce through publication. If granted, then your spouse will be permitted to publish the divorce petition in a county paper for a specific number of days. This published notice will, again, inform you of the time you have to respond. Some districts require a spouse to first hire a court-approved person before allowing a notice by publication. However, if granted and you still refuse to respond, then you may forfeit your rights in the case.
No Response and Default Judgment
If you decide to avoid the petition completely, then your spouse can request a final divorce hearing, which a judge is likely to grant at this point. Also, the judge may send out a summons for you to appear in court for the final hearing. If you choose to ignore the petition, the notice by publication and the final summons, then a court has no choice but to move forward with the divorce based solely on the facts of the filed petition. Once a divorce reaches this point, your opinion no longer matters in the eyes of the court because you have been granted every opportunity to voice your concerns or contest the proceedings. Therefore, at this point, your spouse will likely be given a divorce based on their petition, meaning that the default judgment goes in their favor.
Responses and Disputes
Any family law firm will stress the importance of both parties being heard in a dispute or divorce proceeding. By responding to petitions, you can make your voice heard in the process, which allows for a fairer distribution of assets and possibly custody.
If you are going through a divorce, contact a divorce attorney and make sure your voice is heard. Reach out to the Law Firm of Victoria and call (248) 723-1600 to schedule a free consultation. Don’t ignore your interest, sign the papers and make any legitimate issues known.