Default Divorce & Constructive Service
How to Divorce If You Can't Serve Divorce Papers
If you are unable to locate a spouse or a spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, there is a solution to getting a divorce. In divorce proceedings, it's not uncommon for either party to try to drag out the proceedings as long as possible. Sometimes the prevailing sentiment is to simply ignore it and it may go away. The truth is that if one party is unresponsive to the divorce papers sent to them, the person seeking the divorce still has options in terms of moving forward with the divorce, as opposed to being held hostage by the person who simply is not signing the paperwork. The option available is called a default divorce or divorce by publication.
Typically, divorce papers will be delivered to an individual by a constructive service method. Depending on the state laws regulating the time frame, a person will have at least 30 days to respond to being served with divorce papers. If for some reason the person does not respond, or there is not a non-military affidavit or an affidavit of service to the military to explain their non-response, then the person seeking the divorce can request a default divorce from the courts.
While this can take some time to be granted, sometimes up to 90 days, it may not always be the best option if you're looking to get a divorce. If you're looking for alimony payments or child support, none of these issues will be taken into account when a default divorce is awarded. If you need these types of issues to be worked out, it's in your best interest to do everything you can to bring the other party to court. If, however, you have few assets together, no children, or you simply want to walk away without anything and are just looking for the divorce to be granted, a default divorce will be your best option with a non-responsive spouse.
US Legal Forms offers affordable, top quality divorce forms and state-specific divorce packages that allow you to easily file for divorce. If you are unable to serve divorce paperwork or the other spouse refuses to sign, we have a wide selection of forms to apply for a default divorce or divorce by publication, such as an affidavit of non-military service and affidavit of diligent search. In any situation, as it relates to divorce, especially when the served party has been non-responsive to all divorce proceedings, you should first speak with a legal expert who handles divorce cases if you have questions. This is the best way to get a better handle on your individual situation and on ways you should best proceed.