Is Your Spouse Ignoring The Divorce?

Posted by Erin Birt | Jan 05, 2015 | 0 Comments

Divorce is often the best solution for a troubled marriage–but what if one spouse is not ready to accept that conclusion or one party simply wants to make the divorce process long and difficult out of spite or anger? Some couples spend months negotiating a settlement for an amicable divorce in Illinois only to have one party refuse to sign the final divorce papers. Yet even if your spouse won't sign, you're not doomed to stay married forever. You have three possible approaches to end the marriage, two of which will sometimes work and one which always succeeds. This post focuses on a Spouse Ignoring The Divorce.


When one party is emotionally unable to handle the end of the marriage, consider a Divorce Coach. This person is trained to help parties work through those emotional aspects of a divorce which are often not addressed during the legal process. Coming to terms with these issues through this type of divorce resource, which can also assist divorce mediation, often results in a signature, but there's no guarantee.


In this scenario, commonly called a four-way settlement conference, both spouses meet with divorce attorneys present to review and discuss all the provisions of the divorce agreement and sign the papers at the end of the meeting. However, there are situations where changes must be made and reviewed at another meeting before both parties are comfortable signing the agreement, but attempting a settlement meeting, or initiating a collaborative divorce which contains several settlement meetings, can sometimes open the door to compromise and finality.


This is the choice that always works when one party will not agree to participate in the divorce. Your legal options include seeking a default judgment or setting a trial date to finalize the divorce in court. As long as you can prove the grounds for divorce (mental cruelty, irreconcilable differences after a two-year waiting period, etc.), the Court can enter a Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage without the agreement or signature of the other party.

In the end, a person does not have to remain in a bad marriage simply because the other spouse refuses to cooperate with the divorce proceedings.

If your spouse is not willing to collaborate or participate in your divorce, contact me to learn all the options for finalizing the process without dual consent as there are ways to work around a spouse ignoring the divorce.

About the Author

Erin Birt

Since 2003, Erin N. Birt, J.D., CADC has focused her practice on parenting time, divorce, mediation, and substance abuse issues. Ms. Birt's unique background in both family law and addictions counseling help her clients successfully navigate the complex issues of coparenting and divorce. Ms. Birt also devotes her time to presenting at continuing education seminars for attorneys, mediators, and counselors.


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Birt Family Law is the family centered law and mediation practice with a focus on Restorative Divorce; offering creative and supportive legal and mediation solutions with one goal: keeping the separating family out of court and working together towards a positive resolution.

We offer multiple options to achieve this goal including mediation, coaching, co-parenting strategies, and Restorative Divorce services. 

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