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What If You Refusee To Sign Divorce Papers?

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Some people might not want to end their marriages even though their spouses do. Therefore, they might want to simply refuse to sign the divorce papers in hopes that will force the other parties to stay married to them. However, in reality, refusing to sign divorce papers only delays the inevitable and makes it more difficult for the parties seeking divorce to obtain them. While refusing to sign divorce papers might buy the party against divorce more time, generally, someone cannot be forced to stay married to another person.

Divorce Settlements

Some people might refuse to sign divorce papers not because they want to stay married to the other parties, but because they don’t agree with the stipulations laid forth in the divorce papers. In such instances, compromises and negotiations can be made until terms that both parties can agree to have been reached. If an agreement cannot be reached between both spouses, then the matter must go before the court for a hearing and can even lead to a trial.

No-Fault Vs. Fault Divorce

There are two types of divorce: no-fault and fault. In fault cases, the reasons for the divorce are considered, such as whether one party committed adultery and broke a marriage vow. In such cases, the party that broke a vow might not be awarded as much property as the other party. No-fault divorces don’t attribute blame to either spouse for the end of the marriage, so adultery and other fault-related actions are not considered in no-fault divorces.

Refusal to Sign

In no-fault states, refusal to sign divorce papers will not result in the divorce not being granted. In fault states, refusal to sign papers will generally result in a trial, but in almost every case the judge will find that there were grounds for divorce since one party does not want to be married to the other. Additionally, each state has different rules governing divorce, so reasons for divorce that are recognized in one state might not be recognized in others. Most of the time, accepted grounds for divorce in most states are irreconcilable differences and separation.

Although both parties might not want to get a divorce, refusing to sign divorce papers will not necessarily stop the divorce process. At best, it might only delay it and allow the party who wants to stay married more time to try to convince the other party to do so.


This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

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