You certainly can refuse to sign divorce papers. If you do so, then you will have to continue with litigation, exchange discovery, likely attend one or more mediations, and then be prepared to try your case. This is a lot of work for someone who does not know the law and does not know the correct procedure. Before making the decision to sign or not sign, consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area.
As my colleague noted, you are under no legal requirement to sign any agreements with your wife. You can go through the litigation process and have a judge rule.
However, there will be a divorce judgment. Florida is a no-fault state, your spouse does not have to prove any fault on your part, just that the marriage is irretrievably broken. A divorce will be granted even though there are children. There is a statute that authorizes a judge to require the parents to attend counseling, but while that might have been invoked 20-30 years ago, these days, the judges typically grant the divorce decree merely upon the assertion that there is no hope for a reconcillation
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No one can force you to sign a Marital Settlement Agreement. If you don't, you will most likely have a trial and the Judge will decide such matters as how assets and liabilities incurred during the marriage are divided up, time sharing with the children, child support etc. Either way, if your Wife wants to get a divorce, she is going to get it. Florida is a no fault state, you can get divorced just because you don't like the way a person looks anymore. You should probably consult with a family law attorney to make sure you protect your rights. Good luck.
B. Elaine Jones, Esq.
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