What if your spouse denies your divorce request?

On Behalf of | Feb 4, 2022 | Family Law |

You and your spouse have not run into any major complications, like someone having an affair or perpetuating domestic violence, but your relationship has been stagnant for years. You simply feel that you’ve drifted apart and you don’t want to be married anymore. As a result, you go to your spouse and tell them that you’d like to get a divorce.

You are not surprised that your spouse doesn’t want to get a divorce, as they still seem content in the marriage. What does surprise you is that they tell you that you can’t get a divorce. They say they won’t go along with it. Do they have any ability to deny your request?

First and foremost, it is not a request

The thing to remember is that you’re not requesting a divorce from your spouse, and they don’t have the power to grant or deny that divorce. You can file a divorce petition to tell them that you are going to seek a divorce in court. They don’t have to want to do it, but they can’t stop you no matter how much they would like to.

You may worry, as many people do, that your spouse will simply start ignoring all of the steps that need to be taken to get a divorce. They won’t sign the paperwork. They won’t return your lawyer’s phone calls. They won’t go to the court dates. Since they don’t want the divorce, they’ll just refuse to cooperate with you.

Even if this happens, you can still go ahead and seek your own divorce. The court will inform you of the deadlines that you need to wait through, allowing your spouse the legal amount of time they are granted to respond – even if you know that they’re not going to – and then they’ll issue a default divorce. They will simply look at the terms of the divorce that you’ve asked for and they will likely grant everything in your favor. You can then inform your spouse that you’re divorced.

This can become complicated

The above makes this sound fairly simple, but you can imagine how complicated and stressful this process can become. Always make sure you know exactly what legal rights you have and what steps you need to take while moving through the process.