Complications often unfold during the breakdown of a marriage as tension and frustration are high. Ideally, the two parties would separate and resolve disputes cordially, but, unfortunately, this does not always occur. In some cases, one party will choose to resist the divorce, making the process more financially debilitating than necessary. One way a spouse may attempt to resist a divorce is by evading service of the divorce papers by a state marshal.
If your spouse is evading the service of divorce papers, consulting an experienced attorney could be in your best interests to reach your goals in dissolving the marriage.
The first step to reach a spouse who is evading the service of divorce papers is to perform your research in an attempt to locate them, as your spouse must be served by a marshal with the divorce papers. Service can be done at your spouse’s residence, place of work, or any other area where he or she can generally be found. If the party is not at their home, work establishment, or any areas they are generally expected to be found, or you do not know where the party resides, works, or frequents, you should contact a seasoned attorney to discuss other ways to provide your spouse with notice of the pending divorce action.
Some parties might be willing to compromise on the divorce settlement agreement and file an uncontested response in a timely manner, but they instead refuse to sign the final paperwork. Under these circumstances, the next steps will vary from state to state, but most allow the divorce to proceed as though it is uncontested. A judge generally assigns a court appearance date, and if the other party fails to appear, the judge will honor the cooperating party’s divorce petition and response.
Additionally, if the divorce papers were properly served to the opposing party and they fail to file an appearance form with the court within 30 days, you have the option to request a default divorce. In a default divorce, you will appear in front of a judge to request a divorce on the terms you are seeking. By failing to appear, the non-appearing spouse will lose all say in the divorce, leaving the judge to rule in favor of the party who appears in court.
Dolan Divorce Lawyers PLLC understands the complexities of having an uncooperative spouse and will be able to assist you in proceeding with your divorce. With experience in this area of law, a tenacious divorce attorney can work with you to help ensure you are served the justice you are owed. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.