Your spouse can’t keep you from getting a divorce

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Filing for divorce is a big decision. Most couples think about it long and hard before making a move. If you are ready to file for divorce, you probably did not make this decision lightly. If your spouse is against the divorce, however, you may be worried they will stop the process

What you should realize is that this is not possible. Even though divorce is rarely pleasant or easy, your spouse may try to take steps to make things even harder — but they cannot actually stop the divorce.

Methods used by your spouse to prevent divorce

Your spouse may suggest counseling or trying to work things out to avoid divorce. While they may be vehemently against the filing, they cannot stop the divorce process from moving forward. 

Sometimes, your spouse may miss deadlines for paperwork and fail to attend divorce-related hearings to delay or stop the process. However, this will not be effective since there are laws in place to take care of these situations. 

If your spouse does not respond to the divorce petition within the specified amount of time, they can be divorced “by default.” The same situation applies if they do not attend a scheduled hearing. That gives the court the ability to order the divorce according to the requests laid out in your filing. 

You must follow the proper steps to achieve your goals

While your spouse can’t prevent a divorce, you can’t just rush through the process, either. You must go through the proper steps to ensure the divorce is legal and finalized properly. That means making sure that you adhere to filing requirements, notification requirements and other steps in the process.

While having a contentious divorce may not be ideal, it is important to note that you can still go through the process even if your spouse does not cooperate or participate. 

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