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My Spouse Is Refusing To Sign The Divorce Papers! What Should I Do?

When you’ve come to the conclusion that you need to get a divorce, your first step should be getting hold of the papers that both you and your spouse need to sign. However, the situation can become increasingly difficult and frustrating if your spouse is unwilling to sign.


This situation isn’t uncommon, however, it does add an element of complexity to the divorce proceedings. It’s important that you know what steps to take should this happen, and that you understand the legal procedure required to ensure you get a signature on those divorce papers.


Do I Need My Spouse To Sign The Papers?

According to Canadian law, you don’t need your spouse’s signature to end your marriage. While the civil proceedings are certainly easier if you can acquire their signature, you can still proceed with your divorce without it by following some simple steps. Before anything else, you should contact a family law firm for assistance from divorce lawyers.


What To Do If Your Spouse Refuses To Sign The Papers

If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, there are some paths still available to you that allow you to end your marriage. Below are the scenarios that you may find yourself in if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers and what to do in these situations.


What Is Contested Divorce?

A contested divorce normally arises from one party wanting to divorce the other, but the other party is taking issue with it. In order to file for divorce, papers need to be filed and signed on your side, before being served to your partner. If however, your spouse has an issue with something you’ve claimed or believes you’re ineligible for a divorce, they can contest it.


A contest will normally come about if your spouse believes that you don’t meet the legal requirements for a divorce, or that something you’ve claimed about them or about the marriage in your filings is untrue. They will then have an opportunity to formally contest the divorce, slowing down the proceedings while their side is taken into account.


What Is Uncontested Divorce?

Uncontested divorce is when the papers have been served, but the spouse has not responded – either via contesting it or by signing it – within the set time frame. If no action has been taken by the end of the allocated time period, the court may grant the filing party with a divorce under the assumption that the spouse does not wish to contest it.


I Can't Find My Spouse Anywhere! What Should I Do?

In some cases, you may be unaware of your spouse’s location, but still want to file for a divorce. This tends to happen in cases of prolonged separation before filing, but there are still options for you if this does happen. As long as you can prove that you’ve done everything to find your spouse, the court may still grant you a divorce.


The court will try their best to locate your spouse in order to serve them the papers, but in the event that the papers are provided to your spouse, a divorce may still be granted, provided sufficient searching time and measures have taken place.


Proving The Disintegration Of Your Marriage

If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, then you may need to prove that your marriage has broken down in order to get a divorce ruling. If you have proof of adultery, or of any type of abuse – be it physical, emotional, mental, etc. – then this can be proof that your marriage is broken.


Are You Thinking About Getting A Divorce? Contact Baker Doodnauth Today.

At Baker Doodnauth, we believe in providing great legal aid and representation to all of our clients in and around the Newmarket area. Two of our main areas of experience are in family law and civil litigation, so we have a good deal of experience in dealing with divorces and separations as a Newmarket law firm.


Our blog utilizes the knowledge we’ve acquired from our years of experience as Newmarket lawyers and may help you with tips on how to deal with former spouses. To find out how we can help you, contact us today for exceptional client service and professional legal advice.

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