One of the most common things that people say when they don’t want to get divorced is that they’re simply not going to sign the papers. Maybe you wanted to split up, for instance, and you told your spouse that you were going to end the marriage. You noted that you’d get the paperwork ready and bring it to the house for them to sign. They told you to forget about it because they were just going to ignore that paperwork. Can they do so?

Certainly, they can do so. There are more productive options, though, like asking you if you’d like to try marriage counseling or a trial separation before going straight to divorce. Just ignoring the paperwork doesn’t make a difference in whether or not you split up.

After all, the court can still rule in favor of the divorce, using what is known as a default divorce ruling. It means that you gave your spouse the amount of time they legally deserve to respond, they neglected to do so, so the court is granting you a divorce in their absence. This divorce typically then adheres to your terms, as long as the court itself finds no issues with them because your spouse loses their chance to argue for the terms that they want.

For you, the main thing you should take away from this is that your future is in your hands. If you want a divorce, you can get one, even if your spouse will not cooperate. You just need to know what steps to take to make it happen.