You decide that it’s finally time to get a divorce. You go to your spouse and break the news, telling them that you would like to end the marriage because it’s just not working out.
You expect your spouse to be sad or to try to convince you otherwise, but you don’t expect them to just refuse. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happens. They tell you that they’re not going to agree to a divorce and that you just are going to have to get used to it. Then they go on as if you haven’t even brought the subject up.
Can they do this?
Clearly, your first question is probably whether or not your spouse can even refuse a divorce, and you’ll be glad to know that the answer is no. No one can refuse a divorce under modern marriage and divorce laws. Your spouse cannot keep you trapped in that marriage if you want to end the union legally.
What you have to do is file all the paperwork and present them with the divorce papers, which they’re supposed to sign. They can refuse to sign them and refuse to show up to court, and eventually, enough time will go by that the court will rule in your favor. This is called a default judgment. It means that the divorce is still granted without the cooperation of your spouse.
You may even find that this works better for you because you can dictate the terms without any pushback from your spouse. Regardless, it can be a difficult scenario to find yourself in, so be sure that you know about all the legal steps you’ll need to take to make that divorce final, whether your spouse wants it or not.