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What if My Spouse Refuses to Sign the Divorce Papers?

 Posted on May 21,2024 in Divorce

North Aurora, IL divorce lawyerAll divorces are not equal. Some divorces happen after a long, gradual decline in the marriage so that by the time one spouse files for divorce it is no surprise. In such cases, it is not usually difficult to get the other spouse’s signature on the divorce papers. But some marriages explode suddenly, often due to an event like an affair, and a spouse files for divorce in the heat of the moment. Times like this are often when some spouses refuse to sign the papers.

Courts understand that spouses many times do not agree to get divorced, so there is a legal procedure to follow in such cases. This article will discuss that procedure and the importance of consulting an Illinois divorce attorney as soon as you decide to dissolve your marriage.

What Is the Procedure When a Spouse Refuses to Sign?

The first step in a divorce is filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Circuit Court Clerk. Your spouse is then served with a copy of the petition and given 30 days to respond. If he or she refuses to do so, then:

  • You can file a motion for default. This means you are asking the court to grant you a divorce without your spouse’s cooperation.

  • The judge will then schedule a hearing to give your spouse a chance to appear and explain his or her reason for refusing to agree to the divorce.

  • In many cases, the uncooperative spouse fails to appear. When this happens, the judge is likely to grant you the divorce and other terms you asked for in the petition regarding issues like child custody, child support, and alimony. Keep in mind that the court will not honor unreasonable requests like asking for child support payments of $50,000 a month.

What if My Spouse Refuses to Comply with the Court Order?

Some uncooperative spouses, after refusing to sign the petition and refusing to appear before the court, will take it all the way and refuse to comply with the court’s judgment. If that happens, then:

  • You can file a motion with the court to hold your spouse in contempt, which means he or she is disobeying the court.

  • If the judge finds your spouse in contempt, the judge will issue a writ of body attachment, also called a warrant for civil arrest. This means that law enforcement agents will arrest your spouse and bring him or her before the court. Various punishments, including fines and even jail time, can be used to bring people into compliance with court orders.

Contact a North Aurora, IL Divorce Attorney

It is common for spouses to refuse to sign divorce papers. It is less common, however, to find a skilled Kane County, Illinois divorce lawyer to fight on your behalf if your spouse is putting you in this situation. Hiring the right attorney as soon as you consider divorce can eliminate many roadblocks. 

Matthew Williams is an experienced and aggressive divorce attorney who knows what to do to get you the best result possible. Bring your case to The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. and get a strong advocate for your interests. Call 630-409-8184 for a consultation today.

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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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