How Do I Handle a Divorce if My Spouse Is Unresponsive?

Somerville Divorce Lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC, Can Help if Your Spouse Is Unresponsive

In some cases, one spouse may not want to be divorced. While this can make the process more complex, it does not mean that you cannot get a divorce; however, reaching an agreement may take more time, effort, and negotiation.

If you file for divorce and your spouse does not respond, this can be both disappointing and overwhelming. The following are possible reasons for your spouse’s unresponsiveness:

  • They do not want a divorce.
  • They want to make the divorce process more difficult and expensive out of spite.
  • They are out of the country or on deployment.
  • They are mentally incompetent.

Once you have drafted a Complaint for Divorce and filed it with the Court, you must serve your spouse with a copy and a Summons. It is recommended that you hire a process server to serve them personally. This person will also be an official witness of the documents being served. Your spouse has 35 days from the date of receiving the paperwork to either appear, answer, or file their own counterclaim. If your spouse fails to respond to your Complaint for Divorce, you can petition the Court for a Default Judgment, which is a one-sided judgment that will largely exclude input from your unresponsive spouse.

What Are My Options if My Spouse Eventually Responds?

If your spouse does respond after numerous efforts to serve them, you may not be granted the divorce by default. However, you may then avoid a contentious court battle by filing for an uncontested divorce, provided you and your spouse agree to reach an agreement on critical issues, such as spousal support, child support, custody, parenting time, and property division.

This type of divorce is often less time-consuming and expensive than traditional litigation. However, if there are issues that cannot be resolved, you may want to consider alternative dispute resolution, such as divorce mediation. This is where a neutral third-party professional will work closely with you and your spouse to help you resolve your issues and reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

It can be overwhelming if your spouse is unresponsive once you have filed for divorce. However, while your spouse’s refusal to cooperate can make the process more complicated and time-consuming, a lawyer can take proactive steps to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible.

Somerville Divorce Lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC, Can Help if Your Spouse Is Unresponsive

The experienced Somerville divorce lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC, work to ensure their clients’ rights are protected, whether settlement is reached, or litigation is necessary. Call us at 908-800-7676 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. 

Located in Somerville, New Jersey, our attorneys serve clients throughout Central New Jersey, including those in Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Warren County, Morris County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Union County, and Middlesex County.