Refusal to Sign Divorce Papers in Florida

What happens to the divorce process when one spouse simply refuses to sign papers? In Florida, it is still possible to get a divorce if one spouse won’t sign the papers, but the process may take longer than it might if both spouses agreed to the divorce. Your divorce attorney in Coral Springs, FL, will guide you through the process. Here is a look at what you can expect.


During an uncontested divorce, in which both parties agree to end the marriage, either party’s lawyer can file for the divorce, and the court may hear the case and grant the divorce in a matter of weeks. For a contested divorce, in which one party does not agree to end the marriage, the lawyer of the party who wants the divorce must file for a contested divorce. The other party will then be served divorce papers, which he or she must then respond to in some way.

Default Divorces and Contested Trials

If the spouse does not issue any response to the divorce papers within the amount of time set out by the courts, then the lawyer for the filing party may ask the court to make a default judgment. A default judgment reclassifies cases as an uncontested divorce and a hearing date is scheduled. If the other party fails to participate, the court will generally award the filing party any reasonable requests he or she makes in terms of division of assets and child custody.

If the other party does respond to the filing, a contested divorce trial will occur. Lawyers for both sides will argue for their clients’ interests, and the court will issue a ruling about assets and property.


In some instances, a contested divorce can become uncontested when the other party agrees to the divorce before the trial occurs. Mediation can be helpful if you are facing a contested divorce. Your lawyer may recommend mediation to settle property and custody issues before attending court and to determine if you can come to common ground and move to an uncontested divorce.
Categories: Divorce