Refusing to Sign and Negotiate a Divorce Can Be Time-Consuming
Video Transcribed: What happens if I do not sign the divorce papers in Oklahoma? I’m James Wirth, a Tulsa lawyer. That’s the question that we have. What if I refuse to sign the divorce papers? What happens next?
Okay. So it sounds like we’re talking about a pending divorce where a petition has already been filed with the court, perhaps there’s been some negotiations and there’s been a proposed decree. That’s the final order that would resolve all issues. Asset division, debt division alimony if applicable, who’s paying attorney’s fees if applicable, if there are kids, custody, visitation, child support.
You got a final decree drafted up completely that the other side has sent over as an agreed order and then you’re deciding whether you’re going to sign off on that or not. You’re not required to sign off on it, but what happens if you don’t? Okay. So they’ve proposed that. Your options are that you can sign it and say, great, let’s get this entered, get it done. Or you can say, you know what, I agree with some things, not other things. You can counteroffer, draft up your own proposal, or request edits on theirs, or you can refuse to sign it at all.
So what happens if you refuse to sign it at all and aren’t negotiating? Well, that means it has to go further through the litigation process. That could mean additional discovery is done, requests for productions, requests for admissions, and interrogatories. It could mean that you go to mediation if you have not already or it could mean that you go through the path to trial, which ultimately litigation is all leading towards the path to trial.
So if there’s no agreement between the parties, then you can get a decision from the judge. It just takes longer and is more time-consuming to do that.
But eventually, you can push it there. You do your mediation, you complete your discovery, you go to pre-trial, and then you have a trial on the merits and you get your decision that way. So the question is what happens if you don’t sign the papers? If you don’t sign, then ultimately it’s going to have to go to trial if you can’t reach an agreement that you are willing to sign off on. All right. So if you’ve got a question related to a family law matter in Oklahoma or any other legal issue in Oklahoma, you’re going to want specific advice tailored to your circumstances.
To get that from an Oklahoma divorce attorney with my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.