What If My Spouse Won’t Acknowledge Divorce Papers?
Many times, we like to begin the divorce process in an amicable way by asking your spouse to simply acknowledge service of the divorce papers. This means that we don’t have to perfect service with a sheriff’s deputy or special process server. In some situations, your spouse may refuse to acknowledge divorce papers as a way to get back at you or to simply cause you anger. If your spouse refuses to acknowledge service, do you have any recourse in this situation? Allow us to explain.
If your spouse refuses to acknowledge service, that doesn’t necessarily complicate the divorce process. It simply means that we have to perfect service “the hard way” by using a special process server or sheriff’s deputy. This is unfortunately a fairly common occurrence and states have procedures in place for situations where one spouse won’t accept service or ultimately fails to respond to the divorce petition. These procedures can also help in cases where a spouse hides in order to avoid being served with divorce papers in the first place.
The laws of the State of Georgia state that the spouse who receives the divorce complaint has 30 days to file an answer that responds to all of the specific issues raised in the complaint. Any points not addressed in this response will be accepted as true by the court during divorce proceedings. In the case that a spouse does not use these 30 days to respond to the complaint, this may trigger what is known as an uncontested (or unanswered) divorce. There is no such thing as a “default divorce” in Georgia. During an uncontested divorce, the judge will typically grant the divorce in the filing spouse’s favor. This means that all (or at least many) of the specific requests made pertaining to conditions of the divorce will be approved by the court.
As is always the case during a divorce, it is hugely beneficial to have an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney on your side. While an uncontested divorce can be completed in some circumstances, a truly un-answered and uncontested divorce is rare. The value of having a trustworthy attorney with the necessary expertise on-hand to present all of your options and help you make the most sensible decision cannot be overstated.
At Oxendine Law, our experts are there with our clients through every step of their divorce, regardless of the specific nature of their case. If you have any family law needs of your own, contact Oxendine Law at (770) 497-8688 today to schedule a family law consultation in-person, over the phone, or by video conference. Don’t forget to follow along with us on Facebook and Instagram for additional family law tips, news, radio segments, and more.