Asked in Divorce for Washington

Q: What to do if my spouse does not want to sign divorse papers?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Marc Andrew Moses
Marc Andrew Moses
PREMIUM
Answered
  • GIG HARBOR, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: When you say that your spouse will not sign divorce papers, I will assume that you have filed for dissolution, then tried to work out a settlement that you think is fair but he/she doesn't, so she won't "join" in the petition, which is what WA state calls it when the spouse agrees with the terms of the divorce you are asking for. Without your spouse's agreement, unfortunately you have to take further steps. Have you had a settlement conference? With a filed dissolution case, you can ask the clerk to schedule a settlement conference, which your spouse (and you) would need to attend. If at the settlement conference you are unsuccessful in resolving the issues, a trial date will be set. Having a trial date set has a way of lighting a fire under the parties. All of these things may have a hand in arriving at a "settlement on the courthouse steps," which is what I believe you are trying to achieve. I would, however, recommend that you consult with a family law attorney to discuss the details of your particular issues, since every situation is different.

Marc Andrew Moses
Marc Andrew Moses
PREMIUM
Answered
  • GIG HARBOR, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: When you say that your spouse will not sign divorce papers, I will assume that you have filed for dissolution, then tried to work out a settlement that you think is fair but your spouse doesn't, so your spouse won't "join" in the petition, which is what WA state calls it when the spouse agrees with the terms of the divorce you are asking for. Without your spouse's agreement, unfortunately you have to take further steps. Have you had a settlement conference? With a filed dissolution case, you can ask the clerk to schedule a settlement conference, which your spouse (and you) would need to attend. If at the settlement conference you are unsuccessful in resolving the issues, a trial date will be set. Having a trial date set has a way of lighting a fire under the parties. All of these things may have a hand in arriving at a "settlement on the courthouse steps," which is what I believe you are trying to achieve. In the end, if you and your spouse cannot agree, the court will make the decisions for you and your spouse. I would, however, recommend that you consult with a family law attorney to discuss the details of your particular issues, since every situation is different.

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