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How to Get a Divorce if My Spouse Won’t Sign the Papers in a Maryland Divorce

How to Get a Divorce if My Spouse Won’t Sign the Papers in a Maryland Divorce

Dealing with a divorce is never easy, and the process can become even more complicated when your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers. If you’re facing this challenging situation in Maryland, it’s essential to understand your rights and options.

The divorce lawyers at Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein Bouquet are here to guide you through the process and provide the necessary legal support to ensure a smoother transition.

Understanding the Basics of Divorce in Maryland

If you are seeking a divorce, it is necessary to understand the state’s divorce laws. Until October 2023, Maryland offers both fault-based and no-fault divorce options.

Fault Divorce

Maryland offers fault-based divorce options for couples seeking to end their marriage due to specific grounds such as adultery, cruelty, desertion, or criminal conviction. In a fault divorce, one spouse asserts that the other’s actions have irreparably damaged the marriage.

This approach requires providing evidence to support the claimed fault, making the process potentially more contentious. Consulting an experienced Maryland divorce attorney is essential to ensure the legal requirements are met and your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.

No-Fault Divorce

A no-fault divorce in Maryland allows couples to dissolve their marriage without blaming either party. The primary no-fault ground is a 12-month separation without cohabitation or mutual

consent. This approach is generally less adversarial, focusing on the desire for an amicable separation rather than assigning fault.

No-fault divorces often involve less emotional stress and can lead to smoother negotiations over matters like child custody and property division. A skilled divorce attorney in Maryland can guide you through the no-fault divorce process, ensuring all legal requirements are met for a successful outcome.

Potential Solutions if Your Spouse Refuses to Sign the Divorce Papers

You have legal options if you have filed for divorce, but your spouse refuses to sign the papers. Some of these include the following:

Communication and Mediation

Open communication remains key when your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers. While emotions may be running high, approaching your spouse calmly and respectfully can help pave the way for a more cooperative outcome.

Consider engaging a mediator to facilitate discussions and find common ground if direct communication is challenging. Mediation offers a chance for both parties to express their concerns and negotiate terms in a neutral environment.

Filing a Contested Divorce in Maryland

If amicable solutions and mediation prove unsuccessful, filing for a contested divorce might be necessary. A contested divorce occurs when one party disagrees with the divorce terms or refuses to sign the papers.

This is where the expertise of a Maryland divorce lawyer becomes invaluable. Your attorney will guide you through the legal procedures, ensuring all necessary documents are filed correctly and within the required timeframes.

Service by Publication

In some cases, locating your spouse may be challenging, making it impossible for them to sign the divorce papers. Maryland law allows for an alternative known as “service by publication.”

This involves publishing a notice in a local newspaper, serving as an official notification to your spouse about the divorce proceedings. Your divorce attorney can guide you through the proper steps to ensure this process is executed per Maryland law.

Default Judgment

The court might grant a default judgment if your spouse fails to respond to the divorce papers even after proper service. This means the court will proceed with the divorce proceedings without your spouse’s active participation.

It’s important to note that obtaining a default judgment requires strict adherence to legal procedures. An experienced divorce attorney in Maryland will help you navigate these intricacies, ensuring that your rights are protected, and the divorce process remains within the bounds of the law.

Seeking Temporary Orders

Certain immediate concerns, such as child custody, spousal support, and property division, may arise during the divorce process. If your spouse is uncooperative, seeking temporary court orders can provide much-needed stability and direction. Your Maryland divorce lawyer can help you file the necessary motions to address these matters and ensure your rights are upheld until the final divorce settlement is reached.

Seek Legal Guidance from Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein Bouquet

When facing the complexities of a divorce in Maryland, especially when your spouse won’t sign the papers, having a skilled divorce attorney on your side is paramount. The legal team at Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein Bouquet has a proven track record of assisting clients through challenging divorce cases. Their in-depth knowledge of Maryland’s divorce laws and commitment to providing personalized solutions make them a trusted partner during this difficult time.

Navigating a divorce when your spouse won’t sign the papers can be challenging but not insurmountable. By understanding your rights, exploring amicable solutions, and enlisting the expertise of a seasoned Maryland divorce lawyer, you can move forward with confidence and ensure that your best interests are protected throughout the proceedings.

Remember, you don’t have to face this journey alone—Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein Bouquet is here to guide you every step of the way. Call our office at (301) 786-5695 for assistance.

Contact us today to schedule a confidential family law case evaluation.


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