Do I need to sign the divorce papers if my wife has filed an uncontested divorce against me, or can a lawyer sign the papers?

I recently got the divorce papers which are awaiting my signature for an "uncontested divorce" but are labeled as a "action of divorce." Can a lawyer sign these papers, or do I need to, as I am having trouble signing them due to religious reasons? What are my options?

Rochester, NY -

Attorney Answers (3)

Howard A. Schwartz

Howard A. Schwartz

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Brooklyn, NY
Answered

You cannot be forced to sign papers that are prepared for an uncontested divorce. If you do not sign, your spouse will have to move forward with the action as a contested divorce. If you do not appear in the action or contest the matter, your spouse can proceed on default grounds and have the divorce granted without your participation. You should at least consult with an attorney as a default divorce judgment might contain orders that you do not agree with.

I have been an attorney in New York for almost 25 years. website: Brooklynlaw.net Phone #: 718-208-6094 email:... more
Anna J. Matula-Evans

Anna J. Matula-Evans

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Poughkeepsie, NY
Answered

A lawyer can only sign the papers on your behalf if you have given the lawyer "power of attorney" to do so.

Allison Anne Hoyt

Allison Anne Hoyt

Employee Benefits Lawyer - New York, NY
Answered

A contested divorce and an uncontested divorce are both an "Action for Divorce."

Your lawyer isn't the one getting a divorce from your wife, you are. Your signature is needed. I couldn't even imagine a situation where a court would allow your attorney to sign on your behalf.

I don't understand the purported "religious reasons" that are giving you trouble signing the papers.

If you don't sign, then she can still get a divorce against you, but it would be a contested divorce. If I were her (or her attorney) and you didn't have a valid reason for not following through with the uncontested divorce, I would request that the court make you pay for all attorney's fees and costs associated with your wife's contested divorce.

Retain an attorney before making any decisions as there are likely facts that you have not shared in this forum that underlie your question.

This information is intended for educational purposes and does not establish a client-attorney relationship. A... more

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Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

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Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is one in which spouses agree on relevant issues such as division of property, child custody/support, and alimony.

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