How could a divorce be finalized I didn't sign anything?
Thanks to various movies and television shows, a lot of people get the idea that they can just avoid divorce forever by refusing to sign the papers. If you had this common misconception, it can be quite surprising to find out suddenly that your divorce was finalized. To understand why this can happen, it is necessary to learn a little bit about how divorce works. In this article, we will take a look at a few different scenarios and explain why your divorce might end up getting finalized even if you do not sign any papers.
You Were Never Served With Divorce Notifications
To begin the process of divorce, your spouse is normally required to serve you with a notice. However, keep in mind that refusing to fill out this paperwork or evading the process server will not actually prevent the divorce from going through. In fact, refusing to respond to any sort of paperwork in the beginning may mean that you give up any right to have a say in the court’s judgement about your divorce.
If your spouse cannot get in touch with you, they can ask the court for alternative means to provide you with legal notice. In many states, this involves posting an announcement in local papers and waiting a set amount of time. In some cases, a spouse may be able to request a default divorce hearing if you fail to respond. If they are granted a divorce hearing, they can then proceed with the process of divorce without your consent.
Because of the way laws are set up, your spouse may be able to finalize a divorce without ever even serving you divorce papers. If desired, you may be able to contest the ruling by claiming that your spouse never made any attempts to track you down or serve the paperwork to you. However, this will simply lengthen the process of the divorce instead of completely preventing your spouse from divorcing you.
You Refused to Sign Any Final Paperwork
If you get to the end of the divorce process and then refuse to sign the divorce papers, you may think that you are stopping your spouse from divorcing you. However, this can end up just backfiring for your situation. If you and your spouse have both filed for an uncontested divorce already, the court may allow your spouse to proceed with finalizing the divorce even if you do not sign the final papers. Even in a contested divorce, your spouse can still finalize the divorce without your final signature.
In order to get the best possible outcome for you from your divorce, you need to actually take an active role in the proceedings. Otherwise, the court may allow your spouse to finalize the divorce on their terms because they assume you would cooperate if you had any problem with the terms. Refusing to sign paperwork will not actually make your spouse stay married to you. All it will do is drag out the case until the court rules in favor of your spouse and allows the divorce to be finalized.
Courts allow this to happen because divorce is not like a marriage. In a marriage, you need both people to agree to begin the marriage. However, no court will force a person to stay in a marriage they do not wish to be in. Only one person’s consent is required to finalize a divorce. It might take a little longer if you do not sign things, but you can still expect your divorce to be finalized eventually.
Your Signature Was Forged on Paperwork
In some rare cases, a spouse might find that even though they never signed anything, their signature has appeared on paperwork finalizing a divorce. If you think that has happened to you, you can contact the court and ask for a copy of the paperwork. Once you have the paperwork, you can check it carefully to see if the signature matches yours. If the signatures are not the same, you can contact the court clerk and contest the divorce. You may be able to schedule a meeting with the judge or file a motion to vacate the previous judgement. Forgery is a type of illegal fraud, so law enforcement may get involved and your spouse may suffer legal consequences.
Dealing with this sort of case can be quite difficult. Because of the complexities surrounding divorce paperwork forgery cases, it is a good idea to get an experienced lawyer who has a lot of practice with contentious divorces. If you can prove that the signature is not yours, the divorce will be nullified. Keep in mind that this will only temporarily halt the divorce. As you can see in this article, your signature is not technically required for your spouse to divorce you, so they can start up the process of the divorce again even if you prove they falsified your signature.