25 April 2023

What Happens If Your Spouse Won't Sign Divorce Papers In Texas?

When a couple decides to separate, going through the process of a divorce can be emotionally and financially draining. While some couples are able to agree on the terms of the divorce, there are cases when one or both parties are not willing to sign the divorce papers. In Texas, there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed if a spouse refuses to sign divorce papers. This article will explain the reasons why a spouse may refuse to sign divorce papers in Texas, what happens when a spouse won't sign divorce papers, and how the process of obtaining a divorce can still be completed.


Reasons why a spouse may refuse to sign divorce papers in Texas


Texas is a state that allows couples to get a divorce if either one or both have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months and a county resident for at least 90 days. Parents can also file for divorce if their children are under the age of 18 or if the child is over 18 but is incapacitated and under guardianship.

Divorce in Texas is either uncontested, contested, or default. The processes are generally not easy to get. You will likely need to go through mediation or a court-ordered process after filing for divorce. If you are seeking an uncontested divorce, this may not be as difficult as it may be if your spouse objects to the dissolution of your marriage. However, regardless of the type of divorce you seek, it is important to speak with a divorce attorney about your situation prior to filing because there are many legal details that can affect your outcome.

Consequences of not signing divorce papers in Texas


Failing to sign divorce papers in Texas can have serious legal consequences. When couples decide to get a divorce, the process can take months or even years if the couple fails to sign the official documents. In some cases, the spouses may even be required to appear in court to resolve the dispute. If both spouses do not sign the required documents, then the divorce case cannot move forward.


The most common consequence for failing to sign the paperwork is a delay in the proceedings. This can extend the length of time it takes for the divorce to be finalized and cause delays in any legally binding proceedings, such as the division of assets or spousal support.


Another potential consequence of not signing the divorce papers is that the state of Texas could file a default judgment. This allows the court to make decisions on behalf of both parties, based on the facts presented in court. These decisions could include the division of assets, the division of debts, and even child custody. The court can also grant an uncontested divorce if both parties do not sign the divorce papers.


Also, if either spouse is found to be in contempt of court for failing to sign the required documents, they could face legal action. This could include hefty fines and potential jail time, depending on the severity of the contempt. This could also result in a permanent mark on their record.


Additionally, when divorce papers are not signed, the proceedings will remain in limbo until they are signed. This can lead to further court costs associated with motions and hearing fees to resolve the issue. It also may lead to a delay in receiving property division or other financial settlements you may have agreed upon during negotiations.


In addition to the financial risks, there can be emotional consequences to not signing divorce papers. A partner who refuses to sign could be viewed negatively by the court and the other spouse, which can lead to tensions in future dealings. It can also be emotionally taxing for the spouse who didn’t sign to continually be denied access to assets or opportunities that would have been available had they signed the paperwork.


Options available if your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers


When a spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, there are several options available to the person initiating the divorce. In some cases, couples may find that their relationship and communication have deteriorated to such an extent that going through the divorce process without outside help is impossible. In these instances, the couple may choose to proceed with one of the following options:


Mediation is an option in which a neutral third party with specialized training in mediation assists both parties. This mediator can help couples to come to an agreement about issues such as child custody, spousal support, and the division of assets. This can be a beneficial option for those who want to maintain control of the process and maintain privacy.


Collaborative divorce is another option. This involves both spouses and their attorneys working together to come to an agreement about the details of the divorce. The collaborative process is much more open, allowing for the free exchange of ideas and full disclosure. This process can be helpful for those who are willing to work together and resolve their differences outside of court.


A default divorce is another option, which involves a spouse who refuses to respond to or is otherwise unresponsive to divorce papers, as this implies that they give up rights to contest the divorce. This can be an expedient way to proceed with a divorce if both parties know they need to end the marriage, but are unable to come to any agreements.


Finally, in the worst-case scenario, a litigated divorce may be necessary. This involves taking the case to court and having a judge make a decision on behalf of both parties. This can be a costly option, but it may be necessary if the couple is unable to come to a mutual agreement.




The process of obtaining a divorce can be complex and confusing. It is important that those going through this process understand the law and their rights in order to make informed decisions. Despite the difficulties a spouse may cause by refusing to sign divorce papers, there are still options available in order to complete the process. It is advisable to seek legal advice when facing a situation such as this, in order to ensure that your rights are being protected. Furthermore, taking legal action can help ensure that the divorce is finalized according to the law.

We strive to bring clarity, compassion, & resolution to the complexities of familial disputes, ensuring that the voice of every client is heard and their rights protected.

+1 (832) 253-5353


6575 W Loop S Ste 500

Bellaire, Texas 77401