What If My Spouse Won’t Agree To A Divorce?

Posted in Divorce,Separation on July 17, 2017

When two people experience irreconcilable differences in a marriage, both parties typically want to complete the divorce process as quickly as possible. But this isn’t the case in every relationship. Sometimes, one party wants to stay married or delay the process by refusing to participate. If your spouse won’t agree to a divorce, there are ways around his refusal. In the U.S., no one can keep another person in a marriage. Work with a divorce or family law attorney to understand the process for divorce in your county.

How to File for Divorce in Colorado

Once you decide to file for divorce in Colorado, your spouse’s refusal to go along with it cannot stop you from submitting the paperwork to the right office. In Colorado, district courts typically hear divorce cases. Go to your local courthouse and obtain the proper forms needed to file for divorce – in most cases, these can also be found online. After you submit this paperwork, someone will have to serve your spouse, or notify him that you’ve filed for divorce. In Colorado, any person over the age of 18, the County Sheriff’s Department or a private party who specializes in this work can serve your spouse.

If your spouse isn’t agreeing to the divorce, he might dodge the serving process. In this case, you can request more time from the courts, or file again after 120 days have passed. In extreme cases, you could publish your intent to divorce in your local paper. This fulfills the serving requirement whether or not your spouse sees the advertisement. Once your spouse receives the notification, he or she has 30 days to respond. Refusing to respond will not stop the divorce process, but it could make it take longer.

Uncontested Divorce Cases

A divorce petition only signed by one spouse will go into default. A default divorce abides by the same rules as an uncontested divorce, which is one that both spouses agree upon. You will then attend a default hearing and fill out a decree of dissolution of marriage, which is the document that will grant your divorce upon a judge’s signature. This decree will also outline property and debt division, custody arrangements, and other important details of the divorce.

Have a family law attorney review your decree of dissolution of marriage before submitting it to the courts. A lawyer can help you protect your rights after divorce, and assist with any questions or concerns you may have. When one spouse refuses to participate in a divorce, the process can drag on longer than in a regular, uncontested divorce. Your spouse might decide to get involved in the process at any time, and disagree with your desired terms, which will lead to a contested divorce, and may require mediations and trials to come to an agreement. There is no telling how long a contested divorce case might take.

If your spouse continues to refuse involvement, the judge will sign off on your decree and your divorce will be official. In all 50 states, you have the option to file for no-fault divorce. In these cases, the courts will not consider fault when deciding how to divide property, assign custody, or determine spousal support payments. Instead, the courts will make decisions based solely on financial matters and the best interests of any children involved. Offering to file a no-fault divorce could persuade a reluctant spouse to agree to the divorce. Always discuss your options with an attorney before coming to a decision about how to file.