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If I Have an Uncooperative Spouse, Can I Still Get Divorced in New Jersey?

When you decide to divorce your spouse, you may look forward to getting the process over with as quickly as possible. However, your spouse may have other ideas. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for one person to refuse to cooperate during a divorce. If this is the case, you may worry that the process will stall until your uncooperative spouse decides to proceed. Luckily, this is not the case. Keep reading to learn what you can do if your spouse will not work with you, and discover how a New Jersey divorce attorney can help you through this process.

Why Might a Spouse Refuse to Cooperate?

Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons one spouse may refuse to cooperate when going through a divorce. In some instances, they may be devastated and in denial that the divorce is happening, and believe if they do not respond, the party who initiated may have a change of heart. However, they may be refusing to cooperate out of spite or anger. In some instances, a spouse may refuse to sign the divorce papers because they are angry their spouse is leaving them.

Can I Proceed With an Uncooperative Spouse?

If you have served your spouse with divorce papers and they will not sign, you do not have to wait for them to come around to the idea. Instead, you will file for a contested divorce, which means the courts will hear your case. Generally, if you and your spouse agree to an uncontested divorce, it will be a quicker process. In some instances, your spouse may refuse to sign the petition but can file a response with their disagreements. If this occurs, you will proceed to court for a judge to hear the case.

In the event your spouse does not sign the paper or file a response, you can petition the court for a default judgment. This occurs when a spouse does not acknowledge the divorce at all. However, you must prove that you made a reasonable effort to serve your spouse, including a delivery receipt. Once a judge is certain your spouse will not participate, they will issue a default judgment, which finalizes the divorce, while likely siding with your request on property division and child custody.

How Can an Attorney Help Me?

Unfortunately, your spouse may do everything possible to delay your divorce, whether they are acting out of desperation or spite. Luckily, an attorney can help you through this process. If your spouse repeatedly moves meetings or “forgets” to submit paperwork on time, your attorney will fight for you. They can help prove to the court that your spouse is purposely delaying the proceedings, as a means to ensure you can proceed quickly.

At Lawrence Law, our dedicated legal team understands how frustrating dealing with an uncooperative spouse can be. As such, we will do everything possible to help you through this challenging time. Contact us today to connect with a competent attorney to learn how we can fight for you.

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