2100 Manchester Road, Suite 908, Wheaton, IL 60187

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Youtube

Call Today for a Free Consultation

Call Us630-364-4046

Wheaton | St. Charles

Divorce Involving a Missing or Uncooperative Spouse in Illinois

 Posted on March 15, 2022 in Divorce

Wheaton Divorce LawyerDivorce is rarely a pleasant experience, but most people expect their spouse to participate and cooperate to at least some degree. Unfortunately, some spouses make the divorce process much harder by refusing to participate. Some may leave the state or even travel out of the country to avoid divorce.

If you want to get divorced but you cannot find your spouse to serve the petition or your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers, you may be feeling frustrated and lost. Illinois law recognizes that some spouses are not able to be located or refuse to participate in the divorce proceedings. In cases like these, spouses may be able to serve notice of the divorce by publication and seek a default judgment.

Seeking a Divorce by Publication Because You Cannot Locate Your Spouse  

The person who initiates the divorce is called the petitioner. It is the petitioner’s job to “serve” or deliver the divorce petition to the other spouse, called the respondent. Some divorcing spouses are able to simply hand over the paperwork to the other spouse. The spouse may send the summons through certified mail or use a designated server such as a county sheriff to deliver the divorce paperwork.

If you cannot find your spouse and do not know where he or she lives, these traditional methods may not be feasible options for serving the paperwork. Your last resort is to use service by publication to serve notice of the divorce. To do so, you will publish notice of the divorce petition in the newspaper along with your spouse’s name, county, city, and date of default.  If the spouse does not respond before the deadline, a default judgment is entered.

Default Divorce Judgments

Sometimes, the petitioning spouse is able to serve paperwork to the respondent but the respondent refuses to sign the paperwork or participate in the divorce. The other spouse will not discuss the division of property and debt, child custody, or show up at court. This can result in a default judgment in favor of the petitioner. When a default judgment is entered by the court, the petitioner is given the divorce outcome he or she requested (with some exceptions).

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer for Help

Divorce is challenging under the best of circumstances. When a spouse is missing or refuses to participate, the divorce process can be even more frustrating and complicated. The Wheaton divorce attorneys at Goostree Law Group know what you are going through. We can help you take the next steps and provide legal support throughout the divorce. Call 630-364-4046 for a free consultation.




Share this post:
Back to Top