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I'm filing for divorce but, out of spite, my ex won't sign the paperwork, can i get a court hearing w/o her signing?

Taunton, MA |

I'm filing for divorce, my ex is demanding $$ but we had nothing in our names together, she didn't even take my last name. We separated after 3 months of being married. Now I want to get married in Sept. but I dont know if I can because of her stalling.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. What you're describing is a contested divorce case. If one party sues for divorce and the other party is properly served with papers there will be court proceedings, whether or not the defendant signs anything.

    A caution: handling a contested divorce is not a simple process. You should retain competent local counsel in order to best protect your position.


  2. For you to file for divorce, your spouse does not need to sign anything. Your fist step is to complete a complaint for divorce. The court next provides a summons which is then "served" upon your spouse. You cannot make the service yourself, but should hire a constable or sheriff to do this on your behalf. Next step is to return the certificate of service to the court.

    If you hire a lawyer to represent you, which not surprisingly I recommend, the attorney will take care of these things for you.

    Hopefully at some point in your case your spouse will realize it is better to try and negotiate a resolution to all of your issues.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Stephen McDonough
    Attorney/Mediator
    Medway/Attleboro
    www.divorcecollaborative.com
    (508) 533-3300


  3. Hello:

    I would agree with the answer above but would add one more thing: you should be aware that even though you might not have had anything in your names together, you may still have to pay some amount of alimony to your current wife. Due to the short time of your marriage, this amount (if any alimony is awarded) will be much less than in other cases. Again, you should consult a family law attorney in your county. Good luck!

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