If you filed for divorce, you are likely feeling ready to finally be separate from your spouse in the eyes of the law. However, sometimes one person in the marriage puts off signing the divorce papers or flat out refuses to do so. If you are wondering if this means that you have to stay married, you’ll be glad to know the answer is no. There are a few steps you and your divorce lawyer can take to solve this issue and get the divorce finalized.

What’s the Reason a Spouse Won’t Sign the Papers?

The first step is to consider why your spouse won’t sign. If you can understand this, you may be able to convince them to finally sign without going to court. For example, your spouse might think that by not signing, you will be convinced to stay and work it out. If this seems to be the case, you should explain that you are not happy in the marriage and will be proceeding with the divorce.

On the other hand, you might realize that your spouse just wants to make the divorce harder for you by dragging it out. If so, rest assured that your spouse can’t stop the divorce from moving forward, even if they take a while to sign. Going to mediation with your spouse can clear up the reason for the delay and help you reach an agreement together, so ask your divorce lawyer if mediation is recommended for you.

What If My Spouse Still Refuses to Sign?

If your spouse still doesn’t sign the papers, you will have a contested divorce that needs to go in front of a judge. This means your Texas divorce lawyer will need to ask the court to enter a default judgment.

Once you are granted time before a judge, you will have to show evidence that you asked for a divorce, and you may need to show what you’ve included in your divorce petition. As long as the judge agrees that the details surrounding property division and other issues are fair, he or she will likely issue a judgment stating your divorce can be finalized.

How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help?

Though it’s not required, it’s always best to hire a divorce lawyer. You never know when a normally simple process will become complicated, such as your spouse refusing to sign the papers so the divorce can proceed. When you have a family law attorney by your side, and this occurs, he or she can quickly advise you on what to do next, whether that’s mediation or pursuing a default judgment.

If your spouse refuses to sign the papers or you simply have questions about divorce in Texas, call our law firm at (817) 813-8513 today to get the legal advice you need.