What happens if you are served divorce papers yet don’t sign them?
I will answer this question as it applies in the jurisdiction where I practice divorce law (Utah):
If by “served divorce papers” you mean that you are served with a summons and complaint (or petition) for divorce, then if you do not take those documents (the “papers”) from the process server and/or do not sign acknowledging receipt, you are, unless the court orders otherwise (and I’ve never experienced the court order otherwise) still served with the summons and complaint. Otherwise stated, “refusing” to take the documents when the process server attempts to hand them to you does not mean you are not served and “refusing” to sign for the documents when the process server attempts to hand them to you does not mean you are not served either.
If you hide from the process server thinking you can’t be served if you can’t be found, that’s not true either. If you try to avoid service, your spouse may file a motion with the court asking to allow service by some other means, such as by publication in a newspaper, by mail, by email, or even by text message or instant messenger.
If by “served divorce papers” you mean that you are mailed or given a proposed divorce case settlement agreement, then whether you choose settle on those terms is your choice. But remember: just because you did not sign your spouse’s proposed settlement agreement does not mean you will prevent the divorce from occurring. If you and your spouse do not settle, then the case will go to trial and be decided by the court after a trial.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277