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refusal to sign papers

Sometimes only one of the two spouses wants a divorce and the other spouse will be uncooperative and refuse to sign any papers related to the divorce. But spouses in all states are entitled to a divorce on no-fault grounds—irreconcilable differences or incompatibility, making the marriage unsustainable—and one spouse’s refusal to sign divorce papers (e.g., waiver of service of process, marriage settlement agreement, mediated settlement agreement, or divorce decree) will not stop the other spouse from finalizing the divorce.

In such a situation the divorce will be contested rather than uncontested, and if the spouses are not able to agree on important elements related to the dissolution of their marriage—division of property, spousal support, child custody and visitation, child support—the court will make those determinations at trial and include them in divorce decree without input from the uncooperative spouse, if necessary. Once these determinations are included in the divorce decree they become legally enforceable obligations for both former spouses.

In Texas, a spouse is entitled to seek a divorce based on no-fault grounds, such as 'insupportability,' which is the term used in Texas for irreconcilable differences that make the marriage unsustainable. If one spouse refuses to cooperate or sign divorce papers, the other spouse can still proceed with the divorce process. The divorce will then be considered contested, and the court will require a process of legal discovery and a trial to resolve the issues at hand. During the trial, the court will make decisions regarding the division of property, spousal support, child custody and visitation, and child support. These decisions will be included in the final divorce decree. If one spouse remains uncooperative, the court can make these determinations without their input, and once the decree is issued, the terms become legally enforceable obligations for both parties.

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