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


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

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What Can I Do if My Spouse Will Not Agree to Divorce?

 Posted on September 15,2023 in Chicago divorce attorney

shutterstock_1506863825-min.jpgIn an ideal divorce, both spouses agree to end the marriage and work together to divide assets and, if necessary, decide on a parenting plan. However, not all divorces are this simple. Sometimes, one spouse may not cooperate, which can lead to a longer and more difficult process.

It is important to speak with an attorney if you are considering divorce and your spouse is refusing to participate in the process. An attorney can help you understand your options and provide guidance on what to do next.

Why Would Someone Not Sign Divorce Papers?

In a divorce case, the defendant is not required to sign any papers agreeing or not agreeing to the divorce. However, there are a variety of reasons why spouses may refuse to participate in certain aspects of the divorce proceedings, such as:

  • Their religious beliefs or other personal values

  • A fear of shame by their friends, family, or community

  • They are unable to accept that the marriage is over, and they may hope that they can work things out

  • Anger or bitterness toward their partner 

Understanding the reason why they are refusing to sign the papers can be important to your endgame. Once you understand their reasons, you can start to address them. For example, if your resistant spouse is refusing to participate because of religious beliefs, you may be able to find a mediator who is familiar with those beliefs and can help you reach an agreement.

It is just as important to remember that you cannot force your spouse to participate in the divorce proceedings. If they are determined to make things difficult, you may need to get a lawyer involved sooner. A lawyer can help you protect your rights and get the divorce finalized as quickly as possible.

What If My Spouse Cannot Be Found?

If you cannot find your spouse, you can still file for divorce by publication. This means that you will publish notice of your divorce petition in a local newspaper. Your spouse will then have 30 days to respond to the petition. If they do not respond, you can ask the court to enter a default judgment.

My Spouse Filed a Response But Does Not Wish to Participate Further

The judge may proceed with divorce as though it is uncontested if your spouse chooses not to participate after filing a response to your petition. Decisions of the judge will rely on the evidence and information you share. You will then need to wait for a court date. If your spouse fails to show up to court at the appointed date, the judge can enter orders based on the divorce petition and response. However, you still may not receive the outcome you are hoping for.

Contact a Kendall County, IL Divorce Lawyer

To increase the likelihood of reaching a favorable outcome in divorce, employ a Yorkville, IL divorce attorney. An attorney from the The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. has been working in family law and divorce for nearly a decade. Call the office at 630-409-8184 for a discussion on how he can better serve you in your divorce while protecting your interests.

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


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

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