Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not when it comes to divorce papers. If you receive divorce papers and just throw them away or put them in a dark drawer so you do not have to confront the reality of them, the issue will not be going away. What happens if you do not sign your divorce papers? Let us talk more about that here.
What Happens If I Do Not Sign the Divorce Papers?
Whether you have been surprised by divorce papers or knew they were coming, avoiding them can be a normal response. Like so many other things, you may want to ignore them under the misguided belief that the reality of the situation will go away as well. Regardless of what you may think or hear about this, not signing or acknowledging your divorce papers will not stop the divorce from happening.
Florida is what is called a “no fault” divorce state. This means that a party does not have to prove fault in order to seek and be granted a divorce. A mere assertion that the marriage is irretrievably broken will suffice. If only one spouse wants a divorce, he or she is well within his or her rights to pursue and receive a divorce without the agreement or assistance of the other spouse.
To file for divorce, a person needs to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the appropriate court. Once filed, a process server will be enlisted to serve the other spouse with the paperwork. The spouse will then have 20 days to file a response. If the spouse does not file a response, the court can unilaterally enter a default judgment and grant the divorce anyway. A default judgment can even be entered without a hearing. This means that, if you do not sign your divorce paperwork or acknowledge the divorce proceedings, the divorce will be resolved without you. You will not have an opportunity to give input or arguments as to important issues such as alimony or allocation of marital assets or debts. All of this will be decided without you although you will feel its impact, nonetheless.
When you do not sign your divorce papers, you are waiving your right to participate in the divorce process. It does not stop the divorce; it stops your participation in the divorce proceedings. While you may not want the divorce to proceed, ignoring it does you no favors. Protect yourself and your rights that are in play during the divorce process and acknowledge that it is happening. Retain trusted legal counsel to represent you and your best interests in the proceedings. This is an important step in protecting your future interests.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
Have you received divorce papers and are unsure of what to do now? Do not delay! The clock is already ticking and you stand to forfeit important legal rights should you fail to take action. The family law team at Orlando Family team is here to help. Contact us today.