If your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, learn what your options are and how…
If you are served with divorce papers in North Carolina, it's understandable to experience a variety of emotions and feelings. Even though you and your spouse have been separated for a year, you may still have hope of reconciliation or you're angry about the circumstances that led your spouse to file.
Regardless of how you are feeling, it's important to take action to protect your interests and secure your future. To help you do so, our divorce lawyers in Raleigh are sharing the four steps to take when you're served with divorce papers in NC.
1. Stay Calm After You've Been Served with Divorce Papers
First, it's absolutely essential you keep a level head. Even if you were blindsided by divorce papers, it's important to avoid saying or doing anything that could negatively affect the outcome of your divorce.
- Do not contact your spouse, whether this is to ask to not divorce or attempt to make negotiations or arrangements
- Do not threaten your spouse in anyway, including with violence, that you will "take everything," or that they won't see their children
- Do not bad mouth your spouse to others, to your children, or on social media
- Do not destroy property or take extreme action
Instead, talk about your feelings with a trusted friend and focus on moving forward into a new future.
2. Note Your Deadline
In North Carolina, you have 30 days to respond to a divorce summons or complaint. Even if you do not want a divorce, your spouse can get a divorce without your consent, and often, this can backfire for the spouse refusing to sign the divorce papers. Ignoring the issue does not make it go away, so make sure you take proper action before the 30-day deadline.
3. Gather Information and Documentation
Whether you feel you and your spouse can negotiate a settlement without a judge or you are facing a contentious divorce, you need to get your documentation together to resolve your case easily and help you achieve a more favorable settlement.
This can include:
- Proof of income for you and your spouse, including tax records
- Asset ownership, including house, vehicles, business holdings or investments
- Proof of health issues or factors that could affect your earning potential after the divorce
- Debt information
Getting this information together quickly as well as anything that can support a favorable settlement can be helpful. This can also include proof of supporting your spouse financially while they completed their education or started a business.
4. Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney
The most important thing you can do is hire the right divorce attorney. Even in an amicable, non-contentious divorce, property division, child custody, and other factors are complicated. Having a divorce lawyer who can inform you of your rights and negotiate a fair settlement can keep a divorce from becoming acrimonious.
In the event that your spouse is seeking to litigate or prevent you from getting what is rightfully yours, having an aggressive divorce lawyer advocating on your behalf is even more important to helping secure your future. From informing you of your rights and helping you set goals to negotiations or taking your case to court, your divorce attorney is your ally at every step.
Schedule a Consultation with a Divorce Attorney in Raleigh Today
If you have received divorce papers, we're on your side. Reach out to our office today at (919) 301-8843 or fill out the contact form below to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.