Do I need my spouse’s consent to file for divorce?
The reality of a looming divorce can seem like an uphill battle. The situation becomes more complicated when one person doesn’t want a divorce, has refused to sign the divorce papers, or has moved away and can no longer be found. If you’re facing this situation, it’s important for you to understand your legal options. The divorce proceedings are likely to take some time and will require legal advice to navigate as efficiently as possible.
Can you file for divorce without your spouse’s consent?
Even though a consensual and uncontested divorce is smoother and easier to complete, it may not be an option for many couples. Luckily, gone are the days when you needed your spouse’s consent to get a divorce. You can file for divorce with or without the participation of your spouse.
Do you need to state the grounds for divorce?
The most important step when filing for divorce is stating the grounds for divorce. You may file a no-fault divorce, which simply means that you don’t have to prove fault in order for the divorce to be granted. Such proceedings are often completed faster and are less overwhelming.
However, you may wish to file for divorce based on fault as it could come with certain benefits. For instance, if you want to divorce a physically abusive spouse and get sole custody of your children, it may make sense to file for divorce based on fault. There are also instances where proving your spouse was at fault can result in a spousal support.
What if my spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers?
If you’ve had a conversation with your spouse and she/he’s stated that she/he will not sign the divorce papers even before they are presented to him/her, speak with an experienced divorce lawyer. Our lawyers can help you understand the benefits of filing a no-fault or fault-based divorce. If your spouse refuses to sign the papers, you may be required a one-year separation from him/her before the divorce is granted.
There are instances where your spouse may file a response to contest the divorce in court. Talk to a lawyer about your options to proceed with such a situation. The judge may allow the divorce proceeding to go uncontested if your spouse did not contest or present any issues in their response.
Consulting a family lawyer
If you aren’t seeing eye-to-eye with your spouse, sometimes all you need is a strategy to approach him/her. You can work together with a lawyer to determine the best way forward. If you have experienced verbal, mental, or physical abuse in the marriage, your lawyer can help you gather evidence of this treatment in court.
Our family lawyers can help you get the answers you need regarding your rights and obligations when a marriage ends. We offer one-on-one consultation to give every client a sense of the services they might need if they hire us. We will give you the assurance that you need to protect your interests.