How do you divorce a spouse who has refused to sign the divorce papers, meet with the mediator, or appear in court for the divorce hearing? If you can prove all these to the court, then you may succeed in getting a default divorce. Here is what you will need to get your default divorce:
Get The Divorce Papers
The first step is to get the divorce papers, just as you would for any other kind of divorce. You can either get the papers from your state court's website (the self-help section, if your state has the provision) or go to the courthouse and collect them. Many states provide step-by-step guidelines for filling the forms, but you can also engage a divorce lawyer to help you.
Try To Serve Your Spouse With The Papers
Once you have filled the forms properly, use any of your state's acceptable method of service to serve your spouse with the divorce papers. Common methods of service include the use of certified mail, service in person, service via a County Sherriff, and public notification, among others. This is necessary even if you are sure your spouse will not sign the papers—even if he or she has told you that he or she won't sign them. You will need to prove that you tried to serve your spouse if the court is to grant your request for a default divorce later on.
Request For A Default Judgment
If your spouse refuses to sign the papers or cooperate in any way, head to court and request for a default divorce judgment. The court will want you to prove that you have tried every possible way to serve the papers to your partner or get him or her to cooperate with you to no avail. For example, if your state accepts service by first class mail, you will need to show that you mailed the papers to your partner. Another way of showing your partner's refusal to sign the papers is to get a testimony from the County Sheriff who tried to serve the divorce papers on your behalf.
Submit Paperwork Of Your Wishes
When asking for the default divorce, you also have to submit your wishes for the issues you want the court to decide on. For example, if you are seeking child support, you need to indicate how much you are seeking, and why. You may need supporting documents, such as evidence of your earning, to prove why you are seeking the indicated amount. After this, the court may give your partner one last chance to respond to your issues before deciding on your default divorce.
Don't forget to consult a divorce attorney even if you are sure you are headed for a default divorce. One small mistake can easily derail the process. For example, the court will not grant your wishes if it turns out that there is a way you could have served your partner with the papers, but you did not do it. A lawyer will make sure that such mistakes don't happen. So contact a law firm in your area that focuses on family law, such as Law Office Of Ernest A Buche Jr.