Can your spouse refuse your divorce request?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | Divorce |

You and your spouse have talked about divorce before, and they’ve always been against it. In fact, you tried going to couples therapy with them to see if you could save the marriage. You wanted to honor their position and the fact that they didn’t want to get divorced.

But now it has become clear that there is no other option for you. You go back to your spouse and tell them that you still want to get divorced. But, to your surprise, they refuse. They tell you that they’re not going to go along with it and that they’ve never felt that divorce was the right option.

But now what? Can they actually refuse this request?

It only hurts their position

First and foremost, they cannot refuse the divorce. They can’t stop you from moving forward with the legal process if you want to do so. They have no legal right to do this and you don’t necessarily need their cooperation to complete the divorce. In cases when the other spouse will not or cannot respond, the courts have the option to use a default divorce.

Realistically, if your spouse forces you to go this route, it’s only going to hurt their own position. A divorce that goes through the court gives both people a chance to campaign for the outcomes that they would like and to make requests, such as a certain amount of time with the children or a specific division of assets. This doesn’t mean the court will grant everything they want, but they get a chance to make their case.

In a default divorce, they give up his chance. The court is simply going to consider your petition, along with external factors like the best interests of your children, and then they’re going to rule. They can still grant you the divorce and the odds are far greater that they’re going to give you more of the results that you’ve asked for because your spouse is not there to counter those arguments.

Moving forward

Now that you know you can get a divorce even if your spouse doesn’t want one, take the time to look into all of the legal steps to take as you move forward. This may grow complicated since they won’t cooperate, so you need to know what options you have.