If you file for divorce, you have to serve those papers to your spouse. They deserve to know about the divorce process and they have a certain amount of time in which they’re supposed to respond to that filing.
But what if they refuse to do so? Maybe they don’t want to get divorced and they won’t file the paperwork. Maybe you and your spouse are estranged and you can’t even find them to serve the papers in the first place. Can you still get a divorce?
You can move forward with the default divorce
The law is set up like this for many reasons. In some cases, people are uncooperative. In some cases, they just miss important hearings and deadlines. The court does not want the other spouse to be held back for too long by these types of actions.
As a result, you do have an option to seek a default divorce. This provides you with the divorce that you want, even if your spouse never responds or disappears halfway through the process. You don’t have to wait for them to end the marriage.
In some ways, this type of divorce might actually play out in your favor. If you get a default divorce, the terms are not going to be contested by your absent spouse, so the ruling may be more in line with what you would have wanted.
That said, this can certainly be a complicated time and it is very important to know exactly what legal steps you will need to take.