When Your Spouse Ignores Your Intention to Divorce Them

It's not as though your spouse can refuse to divorce you. Only one party has to decide that the marriage has permanently and irreparably been broken. While the other party might disagree, it's not as though you have to remain married to them against your will. However, your spouse may not be very cooperative during the divorce process. They may hold out hopes of a reconciliation, or they might maliciously be trying to make the dissolution of your marriage as difficult as possible. What can you do when your spouse simply refuses to acknowledge your intention to file for divorce?

Divorce Papers

Your spouse may be unaware that you intend to divorce them until they're formally served the divorce papers. You should consider consulting a divorce lawyer prior to having any divorce papers issued. The precise reasons for the divorce will be noted on the paperwork, and it's best to have legal assistance in determining this reason. While the specifics vary from state to state, broadly speaking, you can file for a no-fault divorce, where the marriage has simply come to an end due to irreconcilable differences or a comparable reason. Alternatively, your spouse's conduct may compel you to seek a divorce assigning fault to the other party. This latter option can have key benefits pertaining to the value of your divorce settlement, which is why seeking professional legal guidance can be important.

No Response

Once the divorce papers have been issued and served to your spouse, their response will determine which steps need to be taken next. Although it might seem counterintuitive, no response whatsoever is still a response of sorts.  It might be thought that not responding to your petition will disrupt the divorce process, which might have been your spouse's initial intention in refusing to acknowledge the divorce papers, but this is not the case. As previously mentioned, your spouse cannot refuse to divorce you. In some respects, their lack of acknowledgment can put you at an advantage.

Default Ruling

When there's a total lack of any response from your spouse, your lawyer may recommend that you file a legal motion for a default ruling. Your spouse will be notified about this development, giving them the opportunity to contest the details of your petition at a hearing. Should their refusal to participate extend to not attending the hearing, it's possible for a judge to still grant the divorce, based upon your application and the facts contained therein. 

While your spouse might think that failing to respond to a formal petition for divorce is a way to avoid or delay the outcome, they're very much mistaken. For more information, contact a divorce lawyer near you to learn more.

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