Divorce is often not a “mutual” feeling. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to refuse a divorce. While this is frustrating, there are ways around it.
SERVING DIVORCE PAPERS
If you and your spouse have not come to a mutual decision regarding your divorce, you are able to serve them divorce papers. You will need to fill out a petition for divorce, file the petition with the court, and then have the divorce papers served. There are numerous ways to do this, including:
- Acceptance of Service: Paperwork is delivered to your spouse by someone over the age of 18. Your spouse must sign and date the Acceptance of Service paper as verification the petition was received.
- First Class Mail, with acknowledgement: Petition is mailed along with an acknowledgment form. Your spouse will need to sign, date, and return the form by a specified period.
- Certified mail, return receipt requested: Once the petition is received in the mail, your spouse will need to sign the “return receipt” paperwork attached to the mail envelope.
- Personal Service by Shisiff or process server: You are able to hire a Shisiff or professional process server to deliver the divorce petition. The Shisiff or process server then fills out a proof of service which is then filed with the court.
Sometimes an unwilling spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers. Legally, someone cannot be forced to stay in a marriage if their spouse refuses. For that reason, there are other ways to get an unwilling spouse to comply.
DIVORCE BY PUBLICATION
When all other methods of service fail, or if a spouse cannot be located because they are evading the divorce, a divorce can be made via publication. A divorce petition will be filed with the court. The divorce will then be posted in a local newspaper for a specified amount of time. A copy of the divorce announcement, with a statement regarding how long the ad was posted will then need to be filed with the court for proof of service.
There are also options for negotiation and compromise if a spouse disagrees to a divorce. A family law attorney or mediator can help warring spouses come to an agreement. And if mediation does not work, spouses can always choose to go before a court.
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 431-3131