Can I File For Divorce If My Ex Refuses To Sign The Divorce Documents? – Podcast Episode 38

Welcome back to the Divorce Collective Podcast! In today’s episode, Caralee Fontenele delves into a common concern many face during divorce proceedings: What if your partner refuses to sign the divorce papers or engage in the process?

Many find themselves grappling with this issue. The reasons for such reluctance can be numerous, but the good news is, their refusal doesn’t halt your path to divorce. Let’s explore how.

Two Routes to Filing for Divorce:

  1. Joint application: Both parties collaborate to submit the divorce papers.
  2. Sole application: Only one party applies for the divorce, without the need for the other party’s signature.


For those facing a hesitant or uncooperative ex-partner, a sole application is the way forward. When you opt for this route, ensure to mark ‘sole application’ on the form, differentiating it from the joint application.

A Few Pointers on Sole Applications:

  •  The applicant bears the filing fee, currently set at $1060 (or $350 with a concession card, as of July 2023). Check the for the latest rates.
  •  After filing, you are legally mandated to hand-deliver the application to your ex-partner. This should be done by a third party, like a friend, relative, or a process server. Note that this should be done at least 28 days before the hearing. The earlier the better!
  • Typically, a court hearing will be scheduled 3-4 months post-filing.


Remember, while you can certainly navigate this process independently, enlisting the expertise of family law firms Gold Coast can ensure a smoother experience. If you’re uncertain about your next steps or need some guidance, don’t hesitate to secure a family law consultation free of charge with us at Collective Family Law Group. Reach out to us on 5574 0971 or via our website.

Here’s to empowering you on your journey. Until next time, stay strong; you’ve got this!


  1. What if my partner refuses to sign the divorce papers? This does not prevent you from proceeding with the divorce. You can opt for a sole application, bypassing the need for your partner’s signature.
  1. Is it mandatory to serve the divorce papers if I file a sole application? Yes, you must hand-deliver the application to your ex-partner at least 28 days before the court hearing, using a third party.
  1. Can I handle the divorce proceedings without legal representation? While it’s possible to navigate the process independently, seeking expertise from family law firms in Gold Coast can provide valuable guidance and assurance.


Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult a legal professional for tailored advice.
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