Can Someone Refuse to Sign Divorce Papers?

Each person handles divorce differently. Some people welcome the news that they are finally able to get rid of their spouse. Others are devastated when they are hit with the news. It’s not uncommon for them to spiral into depression after coming to grips with the fact that their life partner wants to leave them. In a last-ditch effort to hold on to the marriage, these spouses might refuse to sign the divorce documents.

A spouse’s refusal to sign divorce papers does not prevent a divorce from occurring. A divorce proceeding starts as soon as plaintiffs (the spouses filing for divorce) serve their husbands or wives with a complaint for divorce at their last known address. When domestic violence is involved, it’s best to have someone else serve the divorce papers to the abusing spouse, rather than the plaintiff spouse serving the document in person.

The law gives the defendant (the spouse being served the papers) 20 days to answer the divorce. If the defendant does not respond, the spouse filing for divorce is required to make another attempt to locate the defendant by publishing the divorce summons in a local newspaper for five weeks. If the defendant fails to respond, the divorcing spouse can move forward with requesting an uncontested divorce.

Divorce by Default

A default divorce is actually a divorce that went uncontested by the defendant spouse. This means that the defendant spouse did not respond at all to the divorce summons or make any objections to proceeding with the divorce. In an uncontested Nevada divorce, the spouse filing for divorce can ask the court for what’s called a “prove-up hearing.” In this type of hearing, plaintiffs can ask a judge for a divorce after proving that they have met all of the statutory requirements for granting a divorce.

Spouses have to prove that they:

  • Have been Nevada residents for at least six weeks
  • Filed all of the necessary divorce documents
  • Have Proof of Services papers showing that they attempted to serve the defendant a divorce summons
  • Have statutory grounds for divorce, including incompatibility, insanity and separation and living apart for more than one year

Once the judge signs off on the divorce, the now-divorced spouse can file the divorce decree with the clerk’s office and send a copy of the divorce papers and the order for divorce to the defendant.

Seek Legal Help

If your spouse refuses to sign divorce documents or fails to respond to any attempts of contact, you may need to consider getting legal advice before you proceed any further. Hofland & Tomsheck has experienced divorce attorneys that can offer guidance in this type of situation. Our attorneys can explain the options that you have under Nevada state laws for proceeding with your divorce and can represent you in court at scheduled hearings.

Let Hofland & Tomsheck help you. Contact us today for a free initial consultation with an attorney.