The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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How Can I Get a Divorce if My Spouse Refuses to Sign the Papers?

Posted on in Divorce

Geneva divorce attorney

At the beginning of your marriage, both you and your betrothed were likely bright-eyed and crazy in love. However, life rarely works out the way you plan. One day, you may find yourself trying to figure out how to tell the person with whom you once wanted to spend the rest of your life that you want a divorce. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same in the end. Sometimes, the other spouse does not think the relationship is over and does not want a divorce. Even though this can make the legal process of ending your marriage more challenging, you can still obtain a divorce if your spouse refuses to acknowledge your desire for one.

Handling a Spouse Who Refuses to Call it Quits

In the state of Illinois, the divorce process is started when you file a Petition For Dissolution of Marriage with the clerk of the court in your jurisdiction. This officially asks the court to legally terminate your marriage, and it also establishes you as the petitioner and your spouse as the respondent. Once you have filed your petition, you are then responsible for notifying your spouse of your intent to divorce and of the hearing that will be held before the judge. Your spouse has 30 days from the date you filed the petition to file a response to the notice.

If there is no response to your petition, or if your spouse does not show up to your initial hearing, you can ask the judge to grant a default judgment. Typically, this means that the requests for temporary relief in your divorce petition will be granted. These requests may address issues such as allocation of parental responsibilities, child support, or spousal maintenance during the divorce process. When these decisions go into effect, you can begin establishing independence from your spouse and gather the information you need to address the various legal issues that will need to be resolved during your divorce. This will allow you and your attorney to move forward with the divorce process and work to complete the necessary steps to legally dissolve your marriage.

Divorcing an Absent Spouse

In some cases, you may not know where your spouse is, or you may be unable to contact your spouse. Do not fear -- you can still get a divorce in these situations, but you will need to meet some specific requirements. At your initial hearing, the judge will want proof that you actually did make an effort to reach your spouse but were unsuccessful. To satisfy the judge, you may need to prove that:

  • You attempted to get into contact with your spouse by leaving notices at his or her last known home and workplace.

  • You made an effort to contact other people such as friends and family members who may be able to notify your spouse.

  • You gave notice of your divorce by publishing it in a local newspaper that is distributed in your spouse’s last known area of residence.

Contact a Kendall County Divorce Lawyer

If your spouse is showing signs of resistance when you file for divorce, that could mean a difficult road ahead. Your best course of action is seeking counsel from a knowledgeable Oswego divorce attorney who has experience handling contentious divorce cases. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you manage the legal proceedings, whether your spouse is being uncooperative, or you simply cannot get him or her to respond. Take the first step in your divorce process by calling us today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a private consultation. 




The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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