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Spouse Refuses To Sign Divorce Papers. Now What?

There is no way around it – divorce is stressful – but you should rest assured that, if your divorcing spouse chooses to, they can make it more so. And one way to keep things moving in the absolute wrong direction is by refusing to sign the divorce papers. If this is the difficult situation you find yourself in, it’s time to discuss your concerns with an experienced Illinois divorce attorney.

Your Divorce

Before your divorce can be finalized, you’ll need to resolve the terms that apply, including:

If one of these becomes a sticking point, you’ll need the court’s intervention on the matter. If you’ve put in the hard work and reached a consensus on each of your divorce terms, but your spouse is now refusing to sign the papers, it leaves you in the lurch and can significantly increase the stress and pressure you’re experiencing. 

In The State Of Illinois

In Illinois, if your spouse is not interested in further negotiations but simply will not sign the divorce papers as a matter of principle, you will need the court’s intervention. When a couple can’t resolve one or more terms of divorce – after exhausting all their options in terms of negotiations, including mediation – the court settles the unresolved matters on their behalf and finalizes the divorce. If your spouse refuses to sign after the fact, however, it’s a slightly different matter.

Your Spouse’s Motivation

Your spouse may be balking for any number of reasons, but their motivation is likely emotional. Consider the following:

  • They may simply be too overwhelmed to act.
  • They may be attempting to spite you for instigating the divorce in the first place.
  • They may be interested in making your divorce as contentious as possible.
  • They may be worried about living alone, about finances moving forward, about the kids’ well-being, or all three. 
  • They may be paralyzed by fear.

In other words, your spouse is likely going through something very painful. While you are obviously going through something painful yourself, attempting to take some of the pressure off and allowing your spouse the time they need to see reason could help.

Proceeding To Court

If you have already given your spouse more than enough time to get the job done and sign the divorce papers that you both agreed to, it’s time to turn to the court. At your court date, the judge will decide if your divorce – with the terms you’ve included – will be granted, and if your spouse chooses not to attend, you will receive a divorce by default, which adds a final layer of complication to a very difficult legal process. 

An Experienced Illinois Divorce Attorney Is On Your Side

The capable Illinois divorce attorneys at WARD FAMILY LAW have helped countless clients successfully resolve their divorce terms with their parental and financial rights intact. To learn more about how we can also help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.



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