Marriage is not always easy. Anyone who has ever been part of a marriage can tell you that. Even when things have been bad in a marriage for a long time, much of the time, the couple will be unable to agree that a divorce is the right choice. This becomes especially difficult when one person in the marriage wants to remain in it and the other does not. If you are ready to cut your losses but your spouse refuses to sign the papers, don’t worry. You’re not stuck. You do have options and we are going to tell you what they are.
The Initial Petition
When one of the parties in a marriage refuses to sign the initial petition for a divorce, the paperwork can be filed by the spouse regardless. The case can actually begin without the other’s person’s consent, as established by Washington law. This will normally result in the party who is not cooperating to be served with the divorce documents. This paperwork can be served by anyone over the age of 18. However, service is most often made through a licensed process server or the Sheriff’s office.
In some cases, the spouse will attempt to avoid the process server so that they do not have to deal with the divorce at all. If this is your situation, the person can then be served through the mail system. If this does not work, and the spouse still cannot be contacted or found, the filing spouse has the options to publish a notice in the newspaper after obtaining permission from the court.
During The Case
If you have a spouse who did not cause issues during the initial petition but is now failing to cooperate with the divorce case, the court can choose to move the proceedings along regardless. For example, if you spouse will not attend court and also doesn’t file a response to the divorce petition, the court can make a decision to enter a default judgement that will grant the divorce.
Often, the judge presiding over the case will give the majority of the relief that is asked for in the divorce petition. This also prevents the absent spouse from being able to contest the decision. The only caveat being that the person had a legitimate reason for not responding to the case.
Lastly, if a spouse will not participate in the case or doesn’t respond to the divorce petition, the judge can also decide to issue fines against them or even hold the spouse in contempt until they finally comply.
The Final Paperwork
In the case that your spouse stops cooperating with the process once the case has already began, or they will not comply with the settlement agreement, the court will have to hold a trial in order to settle any outstanding issues in your case. The two parties will no longer have a say in anything that involves the settlement and instead all of the power will be given to the judge.
Hire Your Trusted Issaquah Divorce Lawyer
The process of getting a divorce is concluded much more easily if both parties choose to be participants in it. However, this simply is not the way things work out in every case. If you have a spouse who refuses to cooperate with your during this difficult time, you’re going to need a lawyer to help you through the process. Contact Pavithran Law Firm today and find out how we can assist you with your divorce. This complicated process is not something you should go through alone. Hire our team of talented family law attorneys and get the support that you deserve.