HomeBlogChild CustodyMy Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Documents, What Can I Do?

My Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Documents, What Can I Do?

You’ve slogged through the divorce process and negotiated all the applicable terms, which is no easy feat. You made it this far, but if your spouse refuses to sign, it throws yet another wrench into the works. The emotional upset that accompanies nearly every divorce can lead people to act in surprising ways, and although your spouse knows that your divorce will ultimately be finalized, taking this last stand may be a final act of defiance or a way of making a point that even they may not understand. Whatever the reason, however, it’s important to address the issue, and an experienced Illinois divorce attorney is standing by to help. 

Your Divorce Papers: The Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage

There are three basic documents that must be signed in order for your divorce to be finalized – as applicable. To begin, there is the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, which grants the divorce by dissolving the bonds of matrimony and then there is oftentimes more work to do:

  • Marital Settlement Agreement: allocation of assets and debts, insurance coverage, maintenance, child support, attorneys’ fees, and the like
  • Allocation Judgment of Parental Responsibilities: you share children, which means parenting time and decision-making must be addressed
  • Court forms, e-filings, transcripts, and the like

The Marital Settlement Agreement

The Marital Settlement Agreement addresses financial concerns and spells out the equitable – or fair – division of your marital property. If there is a spousal support, alimony, or maintenance in Illinois, that would also be included in the Marital Settlement Agreement. 

The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities: Parenting Time and Decision-Making

The Allocation Judgment of Parental Responsibilities addresses both decision-making and parenting time, which determines each parent’s scheduled time with the children, and decision-making authority in relation to primary parenting matters. 


If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers or to file their appearance in the matter after they’ve been served with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with an attached summons and after the 30 days allowed – you can proceed with a motion to default them. From here, you’ll need to inform your spouse of their default status. In other words, your divorcing spouse has found yet another way to make your divorce even more complicated, which may be the plan. 

Make the Call to an Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney Today

The focused Illinois divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC – proudly serving the greater Chicago area – have the experience, legal insight, and skill to help guide your divorce effectively and efficiently forward – with your parental and financial rights intact. For more information about how we can help you weather the many challenges that come with divorce, don’t wait to reach out and contact us today.



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