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My spouse will not sign the Divorce papers

A common problem within divorce proceedings is that the other party chooses to bury their head in the sand and ignores all of the paperwork which they receive from the Court, including the Acknowledgment of Service form which you will need them to complete to confirm (a) that they have received the divorce papers and (b) that they do not wish to contest the proceedings. In the absence of your spouse returning this document, it can often seem almost impossible to progress the divorce.

Thankfully, this is not the case. There are 4 options to progress the divorce without them completing and returning their Acknowledgment of Service. These options are as follows:-

1. Bailiff Service – You pay an additional fee and instruct the Court Bailiff to re-serve your Divorce Petition on your spouse. Once the Bailiff has effected service, you will no longer need your spouse to complete and return their Acknowledgment.

2. Service through a Process Server – This is very similar to instructing a Court Bailiff to re-serve your Petition, but often much quicker. The advantage is that the process server will often go to greater lengths to effect service and therefore your prospects of success in this regard will be better. The downside is that instructing a process server is likely to be more costly. This could cost upwards of £150.

3. Deemed Service – This is an option where you have hard evidence such as a letter, text or email from your spouse in which they confirm that they have received the divorce papers from the Court. In this instance, you do not need to arrange for your Petition to be re-served through a Court Bailiff or process server. You merely need to make a separate application for deemed service exhibiting your evidence.

4. Dispensed Service – This is effectively an option of last resort that has to be applied for at Court. It is designed to cover situations where it has proved impossible or will be impractical to confirm service through one of the other means.
Once you have utilised one of the above options, you should be able to progress your divorce to the next stage (i.e. the Decree Nisi stage) without further reference to your spouse. If the Court allows your application for Deemed Service, you will no longer need your spouse to complete and return their Acknowledgment. You will also not need them to attend to any other documents in order to secure the Decree Absolute which what will complete your divorce.

If you are having difficulties in progressing your Divorce, contact us so we can advise you of the best and quickest way to proceed.

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