When a spouse refuses to sign the divorce you have several options. Oklahoma is one of the few remaining states that allow divorces based on fault in addition to no-fault divorces. In some circumstances, both spouses may not want to divorce. It is not uncommon for only one spouse to want the marriage to end. In this case, the non-agreeable spouse may refuse to sign any divorce paperwork or cooperate with the divorce proceedings altogether. Nonetheless, Oklahoma law still allows residents to obtain a divorce and child custody order for the sole reason that they no longer wish to remain married.
The lack of fault in a marriage is referred to as incompatibility and is recognized in Oklahoma law as a ground for divorce. It means the same as the term “irreconcilable differences” used as a ground for dissolution in other states. It is also not uncommon for both spouses to want a divorce. You both may, through your attorneys, cooperate and quickly resolve any important marital issues to expedite the passing of the waiting period to get their divorce decree.
Oklahoma Waiting Period
Oklahoma law imposes a waiting period before the court will issue a final order terminating a marriage. This waiting period is ten days after the filing of a petition if there are no minor children. If you have children under the age of 18, the waiting period is generally 90 days. The judge will issue the final divorce order after the waiting period ends.
An uncontested divorce and child custody is the easiest way to get a divorce in Oklahoma. This type of divorce is possible if one or both spouses no longer wish to be married. One spouse will file the divorce petition, and the other spouse will waive service of the divorce papers. This allows the case to proceed quicker than it normally would if one spouse contested the divorce and service of a spouse was necessary.
As the case progresses, the spouses will amicably negotiate and sign off on any agreements related to the division of marital property, division of business property, child custody, child support, and spousal maintenance. They may even have resolved these issues before the filing of the divorce petition allowing them to include their settlement agreement with the initial court filings.
After all necessary deadlines and waiting periods have been met, and any settlement agreement negotiated before or after the case filing is approved, the court will issue the decree of dissolution, which is the final order granting the divorce and terminating the marriage.
This typically occurs when one spouse wants a divorce contrary to the wishes of the other spouse. The spouse that does not want a divorce may refuse to cooperate and sign off on any divorce paperwork or even avoid service of the divorce petition. In some situations, a spouse may not even file a response to the divorce petition. In other situations, a spouse may choose not to cooperate at the last minute by refusing to sign a separation agreement that supposedly resolved any important marital issue. Additionally issues with sole custody or shared parenting may increase the conflict in a family law case.
Options If Your Spouse Refuses To Sign The Divorce
If your spouse refuses to cooperate, you have options. The following are options if your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers.
If your spouse refuses to sign the final separation agreement because that spouse continues to have differences with the final resolution of some marital issues, you can pursue mediation, which is a form of alternate dispute resolution. Mediation is less formal than a trial, with more relaxed rules related to procedure and evidence.
It is possible that the disagreeable spouse simply wants to go back to the negotiation table and resolve one or more issues. Any necessary further negotiations will still be a less expensive alternative than resolving issues through mediation or a trial. Negotiating is always important but in high asset divorces or those with custody issues the ability to negotiate is even more important.
Have a Divorce Trial
This may be the ultimate playing field for the resolution of marital issues. It is also likely the least desirable since it is an adversarial proceeding that costs the parties time and money. However, if the spouses are still far apart on one or more marital issues, it may be necessary to go to trial and ask an Oklahoma judge to settle all necessary and relevant issues related to the marriage. Although trying to settle is important sometimes the other side just doesn’t get it and a trial is your best and only option.
Get A Divorce By Default Judgment
Where your spouse fails to file a response to your divorce petition, you may ask the court for a default judgment. Your spouse has twenty (20) days to respond to your divorce petition. If no response is filed, you can request a default judgment. A hearing will be set by the court, and your spouse will get one more chance to respond to the divorce petition by attending the default judgment hearing.
Tulsa Oklahoma Divorce Lawyers Near You
Its not unusual for an agreed divorce to turn contested. This happens when one of the spouse refuses to sign the divorce that you both agreed to. Our family law attorneys understand all the important aspects of divorce and how to get the case over the finish line and done. The attorneys at Kania Law Office couple this understanding with decades of legal experience. At Kania Law Office, our family law attorneys are dedicated to aggressively representing clients and asserting their rights. Get a Free and confidential consultation today by calling (918) 743-2233.