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Do I need to re-sign my divorce papers? Last year (June 2012) I completed divorce papers and had them notarized with the

Duluth, GA |
Filed under: Divorce

expectation that my spouse would sign the papers also. He is in prison, we have no children or assets and hadn't even been married a year. He has still not signed and I am ready to file my papers, but they are dated and notarized as June 2012. Is there a time limit after dated signature that the papers must be filed? or do I need to complete them again with 2013 info?

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Attorney answers 4


I agree with the previous comments somewhat. I would add a few additional points. Just because you have signed these papers and he has not, this is not binding on you. Technically, if you have signed them and sent them to him, you have made an offer of settlement to him. His failure to sign them can reasonably be considered as a refusal to accept your offer of settlement. The long passage of time makes it appear that he does not accept your offer. When my colleagues recommend shredding, I believe that is what they mean; in other words, you should rescind your offer. The better way to do this is to send him a letter saying that you rescind the ofer made by sending the signed papers.

Next, you should absolutely consult with a lawyer familiar with divorce. That lawyer can help you draft a reasonable list of goals in divorce. Then you schedule a date to go before the judge (assuming you have a valid, open case where your husband has been properly served with the complaint/petition for divorce).

When you go before the judge, there is a very likely chance that your husband will not be there. Rarely will the jail bring an inmate to court for a civil matter. In his absence, the judge will very likely award you what you seek, so long as it is fair and reasonable (again, the reason to consult an attorney).

Good luck.


Frankly yoiu need to shred those papers. Divorce is never a pro se project, and since you have a contested case (any case where he has not signed is contested), you have added difficulty.

Some courts will and some courts will not accept papers signed long ago. But that's not your problem. Since you prepared papers for him to sign and he didn't, you don't even remotely have the right papers, and NO form out there is all that good.

See a lawyer and do this right, and do not look at "forms."

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I agree with the above; the job is always done better by someone who has done it a hundred times before. A lawyer can think of provisions and procedures that you haven't, unless you're a lawyer yourself.

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Shred the old docs. I don't know any judge who would accept them. You may be trying to save $. But unless you have absolutely no ability to hire an attorney, it really would be best if you hired one. Even with no children, there are a lot of "Ts" and "Is" that need to be crossed and dotted to get it right. If you don't get it right, you may actually find yourself a few years down the road ready to marry Mr. Right just to find out that you did something wrong and you're still married to Mr. Wrong! Divorces can be especially tricky when you're divorcing someone in prison.

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