Philadelphia, PA asked in Divorce and Family Law for Pennsylvania

Q: Submitted divorce papers back in October.. can’t get him to sign them. What are my next moves to finalize my divorce?

I mailed him a copy of the divorce packet to be filled out. He has not filled them out or sent them back. He claims he won’t sign them until he gets his dog back..and she is registered to me! He had until November 19th to get the papers returned so now I’d like to know what my next move should be?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Schenectady, NY
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: We cannot answer this question. We do not know what Pennsylvania "divorce papers" or "divorce packet" the asker mailed to her spouse. There are several very different "packets" as well as different waiting periods.

Assuming the asker filed a 3301(c)(1) "packet," then the act of mailing that packet renders it a nullity because service of court papers by mail is jurisdictionally defective. The court cannot hear the action at all. Service must be "proper."

The cure typically included in a "packet" is an acceptance of service form which the other spouse must execute and return for filing. Without this, there is no jurisdiction, and the asker can wait forever and nothing will happen.

Once this is done, there is a waiting period before the asker can proceed in court with a divorce action. However, there may be more to tell.

The typical Pennsylvanian's mindset is to save money in this era of choking inflation and politicians associated with Epstein. With the idea that something "uncontested" sounds way less expensive, most Pennsylvanians will select the 3301(c)(1) "packet."

However, the spouse may have taken this packet to his attorney who told him not to return anything. A divorce is similar to a corporate break up where debts are liquidated and assets are split. This "dissolution" applies to the marital corporation, and both parties are entitled by law to a split of their assets. An unmarried couple has no such right to a split property division. No man in his right mind will simply submit to an "uncontested" divorce if the marriage yielded money and property.

Perhaps the asker must file a contested divorce under a different Pennsylvania provision. If this is true, then the asker must retain counsel as the obstacle course she faces will be insurmountable without an attorney.

There is nothing more to say.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.