Divorce Without Spouse Cooperation
If you have a spouse who will not cooperate and sign papers you cannot do a Dissolution of Marriage or an Uncontested Divorce by agreement. In this instance you would file a Complaint for Divorce and have the Clerk serve your spouse with papers. If 28 days go by after service of the papers and no Answer has been filed by your spouse, the matter can be set for final hearing for divorce.
Your spouse will have to be given notice of the hearing by the Clerk and can appear and contest the divorce at the final hearing. But if your spouse does not show up at the final hearing, your divorce will be granted after your testimony and the testimony of a corroborating witness.
In cases where your spouse will not sign the papers but you want to file your divorce complaint “pro se” (representing yourself), Attorney Ruskan is available to prepare:
- The Complaint for Divorce.
- A request to the Clerk of Courts to serve the Complaint by certified mail.
- A request to the Clerk of Courts to serve the Complaint by regular mail (if later needed).
- A memo to the client which explains the procedures for service of the Complaint and also explains the common procedures of the Court.
- A Notice of Final Hearing (if needed).
- The final Judgment Entry for Divorce setting forth the terms of the divorce.
If there are minor children of the parties, he will also prepare:
- The Parenting Plan for the minor children.
- The Child Support Computation Worksheet.
- The Parenting Proceeding Affidavit as to the residency of the children for the past five years.
- The Health Insurance Affidavit regarding medical insurance coverage of the minor children.
- The Application for Child Support Services which requests the services of the Child Support Enforcement Agency (required even if there is no child support).
A person should keep in mind that it may be necessary and advisable to hire a local attorney should their spouse file an Answer to the Complaint for Divorce or enter a contested appearance in the matter. This is especially true if their spouse should hire an attorney.
If there is physical abuse or threats against you, or if you and your spouse are contesting custody of your children or there are contested issues of spousal support or the division of property, it is advisable that you seek an attorney to represent you in the matter.