If you are currently anticipating the stress of a divorce, you might have asked yourself whether the divorce is still possible at all if your spouse refuses to sign. Fortunately, you have several options available in such a scenario. Keep reading to learn more about what those options are, and remember that the best thing you can do to ensure the smoothest possible course is to book an appointment with a skilled Shelby County divorce lawyer.
Will a Divorce Always Require a Signature?
When the Court Waives the Signature Requirement
If the spouses agree to waive service, then the petitioning spouse won’t need to serve papers to the non-petitioning spouse.
When One Spouse Has Been Missing for Four Years
When one spouse hasn’t had contact with the other spouse for four years or more, and the absentee spouse cannot be found, a Tennessee court may allow the divorce to proceed without a signature as an uncontested divorce. That said, the court will ask the petitioning spouse to investigate all sources, like public records or newspapers. An uncontested divorce will be allowed if, after doing so, there is still no trace of the spouse.
When There Is an Uncontested Divorce
Uncontested divorces in general can also proceed without a signature. To qualify as uncontested, both former spouses will need to agree on every term of the divorce: property division, alimony, child custody, and visitation. In the face of mutual agreement on this level, courts will permit an uncontested divorce without the non-petitioning spouse’s signature.
However, should the non-petitioning spouse refuse to cooperate by signing or agreeing to an uncontested divorce, then the divorce will need to proceed as a contested one. The petitioning spouse will have to file a complaint for divorce and serve it to the other spouse. Serving notice is meant to allow the non-petitioning spouse to oppose the divorce. But, if they do not reply to the notice within 30 days, then the court may allow a hearing for an uncontested divorce anyway.
Contact Our Legal Team Today
These examples illustrate how difficult it can be to get a no-signature divorce in Tennessee. No-signature divorces are very possible, but tricky to initiate and navigate. Having a knowledgeable divorce attorney at your side will be key to achieving your goals for your best future life. Don’t wait to prepare yourself and place that call now.