In some divorce cases, the court will have no choice but to issue a default divorce. This essentially means that the court is only working with one spouse, and the divorce is being granted due to that person’s wishes. The other individual is not as involved in the process, and may not be involved at all.
Now, it may sound surprising that a couple would get divorced without the influence of one spouse. The spouse who is present certainly has the upper hand for child custody, property division and more. Why would something like this happen?
In some cases, this happens when two spouses are estranged. Perhaps they even live in different states. They may not have seen each other in years or even decades. There is no realistic way for the spouse who is filing for divorce to get in touch with their partner. But the court still wants to have the option to let that person out of their marriage, even if their spouse is not involved.
In other cases, the other spouse may simply be uncooperative or even try to refuse to get divorced. They may intentionally decide to skip court hearings and other important deadlines. They may not sign the paperwork and refuse to resubmit it when they get the divorce petition.
A situation like this can make the divorce take longer, but it isn’t going to prevent that divorce. A default divorce can still be used and no one is ever trapped in their marriage. That being said, a divorce like this can be more complicated and potentially contentious if your spouse won’t cooperate. It’s always important to know what legal options you have.