The vast majority of divorces are emotionally and financially difficult for all parties involved. But, when you have an uncooperative spouse who won’t sign the divorce papers, the suffering is amplified.
What can you do if your spouse refuses to sign papers?
Your spouse may ignore or avoid signing the divorce papers you’ve served them, but it doesn’t mean you are trapped in the marriage. If your spouse is a Utah resident, they have 21 days to respond to your petition for divorce. If they do not, you have the option to file for a default judgment. Click here to veiw the default judgement forms.
This means that because your spouse did not do what they needed to do, the court will come to decisions about your divorce without your spouse having any say. After that, the notice of the default judgement goes out. If your spouse is unhappy they have the option to ask for a Motion to Set Aside Default or Judgment, but they must ask within a reasonable time frame and have a good reason for undoing the default judgement.
Utahcourts.gov gives the following list of common reasons why a motion to set aside default judgement may be granted.
- Paperwork filed contained mistakes or was filed incorrectly
- The court did not have jurisdiction over the matter
- The judgment has already been paid
- The party is a victim of identity theft
- The party was not served properly
- The statute of limitations for the action has passed
For these reasons, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced divorce attorney to make sure you do everything correctly. Then the chances of your spouse being about to undo the default judgement will be much lower. All of the easy reasons for a court to set aside the default judgement won’t be a problem for you.
What about if the roadblock happens further into the process?
There is another scenario that is relevent. Sometimes, your divorce has gone relatively smoothly. There’s been successful mediation and a lot of discussions. It really seems like you and your spouse are on the same page and agree about all the important things. But then, when it comes time to sign, nothing happens. It can be very frustrating, when you are so close to the end, to encounter this obstacle. In that case, there’s likely only one option, and that’s going to court.
If you found this blog post helpful, you might also like this one.