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I filed for divorce May of 2013. My ex wife resides in England now and was served but refuses to sign. What else can I do?

Knoxville, TN |

We were married for 15 years, but she was unfaithful. We have been separated for seven years now. I hired an attorney last year. She was served, but refuses to sign the divorce papers. We had no children and no real financial assets while we were together. My lawyer has been giving me the run around. He's informed that a court date must be set up but, it's a waiting game. He said it would take six weeks until we could get a court date (that was a year ago). Nothing else seems to be getting done for this divorce to happen. What other course should I take? Should I hire another attorney? Is this waiting time frame normal?

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Attorney answers 4


I am sorry you are going through this, if your local county has jurisdiction over the divorce you must serve her and provide proof of service, there are most likely like kind constables or sheriff's or process servers in her area, retain one of them and provide that proof to the court, take care.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


It is difficult for me to answer your question without looking at your divorce file with the court. In a divorce, there are always things that can hold up the process. However, if you feel that your attorney is giving you the run around, I would strongly suggest meeting with another attorney to see if they can give you a quicker resolution. Many attorneys, myself included, offer a free consultation. If you decide to hire a different attorney, you should be able to fire your current. Be prepared to pay your current attorney for any work he has done on your case.

Good luck!

NOTICE: This question and answer exchange is for informational purposes only and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between you and the attorney.


If you filed a divorce petition and served her with a summons last year, then you could be in a position to file a Motion for Default Judgment as someone typically has only 30 days to respond to a complaint once they have been personally served with process under the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. If on the other hand you hired an attorney to draft a proposed Agreed Divorce, which is not filed in Court until both sides sign the necessary documents, and you mailed them to her and she refused to sign then you will probably need to pay your attorney the additional funds necessary to begin the contested divorce process. You can not do an Agreed Divorce if the other party refuses to sign your proposed Marital Dissolution Agreement and (if applicable) Permanent Parenting Plan. As Mr. White states, a review of the pleadings and documents in your case would be needed in order to give you a good idea of why your case is still not where you would like it to be a year after the fact.

Best of Luck!


I suggest that you schedule a time to meet with your lawyer. The 6 week timeframe doesn't sound unreasonable but you want to make sure that you try and get the notice of the hearing date served on the other party in England. It may not be required but it would be good practice. I suggest meeting with your lawyer to get a roadmap to finalize your case.

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