The laws in the US allow people to be divorced regardless of the circumstances. However, some spouses don't make things easy for the ones who file first. For some help dealing with a spouse that refuses to have anything to do with the divorce, read below.
Cover Your Bases and Serve Your Papers
When you expect trouble with your divorce, use care with every step you take. When you first meet with your lawyer, tell them about your uncooperative spouse. They need to know so that they can help you meet every legal checkpoint along the way and cover your bases.
Since your spouse won't cooperate with making parenting plans, dividing marital property, or deciding on debt distributions, make your own agreement. Write down what you want just as if your spouse was cooperating. This agreement, once reviewed by your divorce lawyer, will be used to create the petition.
Don't take any chances with the petition. Your lawyer will arrange for a professional service or a law enforcement official to serve the divorce papers to your spouse. That means there is third-party proof that they were served, and your spouse cannot later claim to have no knowledge of the divorce going forward. You cannot, of course, make your spouse read or respond to the divorce petition but you have done your part to serve them.
When They Don't Respond
When someone refuses to acknowledge the divorce papers, they may believe that the divorce won't happen. However, most states will eventually proceed with things regardless of the lack of response. If you are unable to locate your spouse to serve them, show that you have made a diligent effort to find them and serve them. Later, they could appear and claim no knowledge of the divorce and your search efforts could come into play. In most cases, a waiting period must be followed to allow the spouse time to appear.
The divorce petition is prepared and served if deemed fair and just by the judge. It will be ordered, and the divorce will become final. The divorce provisions will be granted. However, your spouse may not take part in some things like visitation or child support. With child support, you can take action by contacting the enforcement agency. They will locate your spouse and their wages can be garnished if there is a minor child involved.
In many cases, uncooperative spouses don't just go away. If you encounter problems after the divorce is final, speak to your family lawyer and find out what can be done to protect your property, children, and more.