It's possible that your spouse will be so against the idea of getting a divorce in California that he or she will refuse to sign the papers. If so, what should you do next? Does this mean you're not going to get the divorce that you want?
First off, know that this doesn't mean you can't get divorced. You can still take your case to court, and the court can grant you a divorce even if your spouse won't sign. Don't worry, you're not locked into the relationship with no way to get out.
The best thing to do at first is to just ask your spouse why he or she won't sign. In some cases, there may be an issue that you can take care of. Your spouse may say that he or she will sign if you agree to some specific requests. You need to find out if this is the case up front, as it may be easy to reach an agreement.
If not, the next step is to file a petition for divorce at the local courthouse. Again, you can do this even if your spouse won't cooperate. You will then get a court date where you can present your case and provide all other documentation that is needed, such as records of your assets. The court will help establish a legal parenting plan, help you divide up assets, and take care of all other issues. Once the court order is handed down, your spouse must comply with it to the letter.
In a contested divorce, it's incredibly important to know exactly what legal steps to take so that it goes through.
Source: Livestrong, "How to Obtain a Divorce When Spouse Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers," Brian Connolly, accessed April 06, 2016