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What if your spouse ignores the divorce papers?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Divorce

If your spouse doesn’t want to get divorced, they may be tempted to ignore the divorce petition. They’ll just ignore the paperwork that you give to them, not taking any steps to respond appropriately and move forward with the legal process.

Some people believe that doing this will prevent the divorce from taking place. Your spouse may think that their cooperation is necessary for you to get divorced, so they can prevent it simply by doing nothing. But is this actually true?

You can still get a default divorce

No, this is not true. If one person ignores the divorce petition, the other person can still get a default divorce from the court. This may even be in their favor in some ways because they are more likely to see the results that they want when it comes to things like property division or child custody rights.

That being said, you can’t move forward immediately if your spouse doesn’t respond. In Louisiana, they have 21 days. Even if you know that they don’t plan to respond on Day One, you still have to give them 21 days before the court will decide to act without them. In this way, your spouse may be able to slow the divorce process down, but they certainly can’t prevent it.

Exploring your legal options

If something like this happens, your divorce is likely to be contentious and complicated, and your spouse may make it harder than it needs to be. At a time like that, it is quite important for you to understand all of the legal options at your disposal.