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What to do if a spouse will not sign divorce papers

There are a number of reasons why married couples divorce. Infidelity and drug abuse are common factors that play into a separation. However, many times, couples simply become incompatible. People change and can grow apart over the years, and this can lead to marriage ending.

Regardless of the reason, divorce is always a messy issue. It becomes much tougher if one spouse does not agree to sign the paperwork offered by the other. An uncooperative spouse can drag out the process by months, but it is possible to finalize a divorce even if one partner is against it. At the end of the day, it will be in the other spouse's best interest to follow through with the proceedings and cooperate. 

Submit a no-fault divorce

A no-fault divorce is also sometimes referred to as "irreconcilable differences" or "irretrievable breakdown of the marriage." Regardless of the exact phrasing, this will be a person's best bet when dealing with a spouse who does not want to separate. In the event he or she submits the reason for divorce as "mental incapacity of one of the parties," then the other person could fight against that account. By claiming the dissolution of the marriage was due to an irretrievable breakdown, the other spouse cannot argue against it. 

Have a process server provide spouse with a petition

A person can go to the county courthouse to create a petition and summons stating the spouse needs to appear at a certain date in court to contest the divorce. A process server will provide the spouse with the document, and it will be on official record the spouse received it. In the event the spouse does not appear in court on the specified date, then the proceedings will commence without his or her input. Since there is a record of the spouse receiving the documents, he or she legally gives up any right to have a say in the divorce turnout by not showing up. 

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