Spouse refuses to send me the uncontested divorce papers for signature after she has already signed them.

Asked about 2 years ago - Phoenix, AZ

She has held the documents for 6 months. The paperwork was initiated by a lawyer in Georgia where it was to be filed. I reside in Arizona. She does not want to forego her health benefits through my employer. What recourse do I have to get them sent to me so I can sign them and they can be filed in Georgia. Thank you

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Patrick S Sampair

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    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . An uncontested case is where first person files for divorce, serves the second person with the divorce documents and the second person does not file a Response to the action, they simply let the first person have whatever they asked for in their Petition. The only thing that second person might sign in an uncontested case is an Acceptance of Service, which acknowledges that the second person has received their papers, which has the same effect as being served by a process server.

    If you have been served with filed divorce papers out of GA and then subsequently you two signed off on a Consent Decree or similar documents, and you never filed a Response in the matter, then you need to contact a lawyer in GA and find out what is going on in the case. I would be concerned about her defaulting you instead and getting a default judgment for whatever she asks for.

    If you have never been served with or accepted service of actually filed divorce documents from GA, then I would recommend that you see an attorney here in AZ about filing here.

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  2. Edward A Amack

    Contributor Level 4

    Answered . In Arizona, both parties must be totaling in agreement to sign an uncontested divorce decree. I would assume that Gerogia has the same or very similar statutes. You state the reason that she does not want the divorce, and it is my thinking she will probabaly not send the decree so that it could be filed in Georgia. You do not have any legal resource to make her mail the decree it must be her own voluntary act. Edward Amack

  3. Deborah Varney

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . It sounds as if she has initiated divorce proceedings but has not had you served. There may be a certain time period within which your case will be dismissed in Georgia for lack of service, which will mean that your case will have to be refiled. You may want to speak to a Georgia lawyer about that.

    Georgia statutes say: "No court shall grant a divorce to any person who has not been a bona fide resident of this state for six months before the filing of the petition for divorce, provided that any person who has been a resident of any United States army post or military reservation within this state for one year next preceding the filing of the petition may bring an action for divorce in any county adjacent to the United States army post or military reservation; and provided, further, that a nonresident of this state may file a petition for divorce, in the county of residence of the respondent, against any person who has been a resident of this state and of the county in which the action is brought for a period of six months prior to the filing of the petition. " (Georgia Code - Sections: 19-5-5). You should speak to a Georgia attorney in the county where your wife resides to see if they can initiate the process for you in Georgia.

    The other alternative is for you to explore filing for divorce in Arizona, as my colleagues have already stated. She is probably avoiding making the divorce go forward because she will lose health insurance. You may want to contact both an Arizona attorney and a Georgia attorney to discuss whether it is more advantageous for you to proceed in Georgia or Arizona. Most counties have a Lawyer Referral Service available which provides someone with a telephone consultation for 30 minutes at a nominal rate (e.g. $50). By contacting both lawyers you can get your questions answered. Good luck.

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Divorce

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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