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What if my spouse doesn’t agree to get a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2021 | Divorce

If you find yourself considering divorce, then the chances are pretty good that you and your ex already don’t agree on many issues. Filing for divorce may only widen and highlight the divide.

For example, while you realize that the marriage is past the point of being salvageable, your spouse may still desperately want to try to make the relationship work with little regard to your wishes. If your spouse doesn’t consent to your divorce, does that mean that you have to stay married to them indefinitely? 

Only one spouse has to want a divorce

Both parties have to agree to a marriage for it to be valid. If one party withdraws their consent and initiates divorce proceedings in accordance with California law, a family law judge will certainly not force a spouse to remain in a marriage.

California’s no-fault divorce laws mean that you don’t need any evidence of wrongdoing to ask for a divorce. You will have to assert that your marital relationship has become insupportable due to irreconcilable differences in order to file, but your spouse cannot objectively prove that this is not the case.

They don’t have to agree with your filing, but they can’t stop the courts from moving forward with it, provided that you follow the appropriate process to complete the dissolution of your marriage.

What happens when your ex won’t sign paperwork or respond to you?

Once you have served someone with your divorce paperwork, they have 30 days to respond to the filing by negotiating a settlement with you or filing a formal response with the courts. If they don’t, the courts won’t simply dismiss your request.

Instead, it moves forward by default. In a default divorce, your spouse essentially agrees to the terms that you set forth in the paperwork initially filed with the courts, possibly making the whole process much faster from start to finish. In other words, your spouse can choose to remain completely uninvolved, but they can’t stop the process without your agreement.

Although it can be stressful to pursue a divorce from someone who adamantly insists they want to remain married, you will likely be much happier after you take the step to move on from a relationship that isn’t supportive and positive anymore.