My Spouse Is Unwilling to Sign Divorce Papers in Georgia

By Elizabeth Stock

Filing for divorce is a stressful process, and it is not always the case that both spouses want the divorce to proceed. A party to a divorce may have many reasons to refuse to sign the divorce papers, including anger or frustration. But you can still obtain a divorce in Georgia even if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers.

Filing for divorce is a stressful process, and it is not always the case that both spouses want the divorce to proceed. A party to a divorce may have many reasons to refuse to sign the divorce papers, including anger or frustration. But you can still obtain a divorce in Georgia even if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers.

Divorce Process

To begin the divorce process in Georgia, one party files a complaint in Superior Court -- generally in the county where the other spouse lives. The complaint states a reason for the divorce and information regarding the marital assets and current living situations of the spouses and any children. At the time you file the complaint, the court may set a time for the divorce hearing. Once you file the complaint, provide your spouse with notice of the divorce by serving him with a copy. Service can be accomplished in several ways including hiring an authorized process server or paying the sheriff to serve the complaint. If your spouse cannot be found for personal service, you may serve him by publication, which involves placing an ad in a newspaper giving notification of the divorce case.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Answer

After your spouse receives notice of the divorce case, he has an opportunity to file an answer that responds to all of the issues raised in the complaint. Any points not addressed in the answer are accepted as true by the court. In Georgia, if your spouse does not respond to the complaint within 30 days of receiving notice, a default divorce may result. In a default, or unanswered, divorce, the judge usually grants the divorce in the filing spouse's favor, approving some or all of the requests made in the complaint. A judge may approve a motion requesting an extension of time to file an answer if your spouse requests it.

Hearing

If you and your spouse cannot agree regarding the terms of your divorce, it is necessary for you to attend a final hearing so the judge can make decisions about the contested issues. A Georgia judge always makes the final determination in a divorce regarding parenting time and child custody, even if the case is heard by a jury. The hearing is a final opportunity for your spouse to appear and respond to your requests for relief. During the hearing, you may be asked to testify regarding the relief you requested in the complaint. If your spouse does not appear at the hearing, the court will likely grant your request for a divorce without your spouse’s agreement, and you may receive all relief requested in your complaint.

Divorce Finalized

Your divorce is not final until the judge enters a final order, granting the divorce. In Georgia, 31 days after your complaint is filed is the earliest possible date on which the court can enter a final order of divorce in an unanswered, or otherwise uncontested, divorce. However, consult your local courthouse to confirm the time period, and any other deadlines, followed by your court.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How Many Days Does a Respondent Have in a Divorce in New York State?

References

Related articles

What Happens to Pro Se Divorce If We Have No Children & No Contact in Oklahoma?

Divorce can be very complicated, but Oklahoma spouses with no children and little contact with each other can simplify the process if they agree on the terms of the divorce. Spouses may file for a pro se divorce, meaning they are representing themselves, even if one spouse does not wish to cooperate or his whereabouts are unknown.

What Is a Prove-Up Hearing in the Divorce Process?

It takes two to tango, but sometimes only one to obtain a divorce. When only one spouse files papers in a divorce action, the court may grant a default divorce judgment generally on the terms requested by the filing spouse. Some courts require that party to appear to establish some of the essential facts before entering the final divorce judgment. A similar hearing may be required in any uncontested divorce proceeding. This is called a "prove-up" hearing in some states.

What Happens After Filing for Divorce in Oregon?

When you file for divorce, you will complete a divorce petition. The petition asks for personal information about both you and your spouse, including your home address. In addition, you must include the terms of your divorce in the petition. For example, you will decide how to divide the marital property and child custody arrangements. Whether you and your spouse agree about the terms of your divorce will determine what occurs after you file for divorce.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

What Is a Default Divorce in Tennessee?

If your spouse fails completely to respond to the divorce proceedings, Tennessee courts may award you a divorce by ...

Can You Get a Divorce in the State of Alabama If One Partner Refuses?

If your spouse is not cooperating in the divorce process, you may think you have no options to get out of an unhappy ...

Alabama Divorce Via Default

Whether you cannot track down your spouse or he is completely unresponsive to your divorce complaint, you may still ask ...

Divorce by Default

A divorce by default is one of the simplest ways to divorce. It generally occurs when one spouse doesn’t answer a ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED