If the obstacles in your marriage are too challenging to overcome, you may decide it is time to call it quits. However, this decision may not be a mutual conclusion. If this is the case, you may be wondering whether you can still pursue a divorce if your spouse doesn’t cooperate. There is no need to panic, as their refusal to participate will not stop you from getting divorced. Please continue reading to learn about your options if your spouse won’t cooperate with pursuing a divorce, and discover how our skilled Rockland County Divorce & Separation Attorney can help you today.

Can I pursue a divorce if my spouse won’t cooperate in New York?

Deciding to dissolve your marriage is stressful enough. Nevertheless, it becomes even more stressful when your spouse won’t cooperate as they disagree with the decision to end the marriage. As mentioned above, you can still pursue a divorce regardless of their refusal. When dissolving your marriage, you must file your divorce petition and then serve the divorce petition to your spouse. If your spouse refuses to sign the petition, you can still pursue a divorce. However, you will need to file for a contested divorce. With a contested divorce, you will resolve any disputed issues regarding property division, child custody, spousal support, child support, and other issues through court proceedings.

If your spouse will not cooperate and sign an acknowledgment that indicates to the court that they have received the divorce petition, you will be burdened with proving that you made a reasonable effort to serve your spouse with divorce papers. This usually includes providing the court with hard evidence, such as an affidavit from a process server or delivery receipt. Another option is if your spouse refuses to acknowledge receiving divorce papers, you can request a true default judgment.

What is a true default judgment?

In a true default divorce, the court will make the final decisions regarding the terms that will apply to the termination of marriage without hearing the side of the spouse who will not cooperate with the divorce. Therefore, the court will grant a divorce without having both parties appear in court. Nevertheless, before a true default divorce can occur, you must demonstrate to the court that you have tried everything to serve your spouse’s divorce papers and waited for a response within the allotted time. It is critical to note that the judge will likely rule in favor of the petitioner on all divorce terms as they have no one arguing against them.

If you are pursuing a divorce with an uncooperative ex, contact a proficient attorney from The Law Office of Peter L. Jameson, PLLC, today. Our firm is prepared to help you navigate the complex divorce process.