Getting a Divorce When Your Spouse Doesn’t Want To
Marriage is a complicated relationship with many ups and downs, and it’s a simple fact of life that marriages don’t always last forever. People change, they grow apart, they find they have different interests years down the line, or they do irreparable harm to one another during moments of weakness.
Whatever issues have caused you to decide that divorce is the best step for you doesn’t necessarily mean that your spouse agrees. Despite the issues in the marriage, sometimes a spouse isn’t ready to quit, or for whatever reason is willing to overlook the issues and keep trucking along.
Unfortunately for your spouse, marriage can be ended when only one party wants the divorce. You can still receive a divorce whether your spouse is ready for it or not, but you might not want to stir the pot.
There are ways to handle the situation so that your spouse can slowly come to terms with the prospect of divorce, and you can, hopefully, end the marriage without things turning nasty.
Approaching Your Spouse Regarding Your Decision to Divorce
The first thing you need to do is lay the cards on the table. You can’t just assume that your spouse is going to know that you want a divorce without spelling it out for them. You will need to ensure that they know that you are serious, and that you aren’t just threatening or trying to manipulate them.
Next, you want to give them some time to process the information. They might even be angry, aggressive, or volatile. Now’s not the time to try to resolve the situation; you need to give them time to come to grips with the ending of the marriage.
Later, you can attempt to discuss legal family matters, such as child custody, child support, alimony, and other issues.
If Your Spouse Still Doesn’t Want the Divorce
Even after you’ve given your spouse some time to process the thought of divorce, they still might not want the dissolution. You can still get a divorce. You will need to submit the paperwork to the court and have your spouse served.
How you handle the initial stages of the divorce will set the groundwork for the dissolution proceedings, so it’s important to try to be as open to communication as possible. Start with these tips:
- Tell your spouse that you’re filing the paperwork and that they will likely be served with it soon, so they aren’t blindsided when it happens.
- Tell them that they can’t change your mind about getting a divorce, but you’re happy to discuss other matters, such as how you will divide parenting responsibilities.
- Let your spouse know that you would like to avoid court, if possible, but you’re willing to try mediation, for instance.
Need Help Filing for Divorce in California?
The divorce process can be tricky, whether both parties want the divorce or not. You don’t have to go through this process without legal assistance. An attorney can help you communicate with your spouse, assist with mediation, and help you, should you need to take your divorce case to trial.