What to Do if Your Spouse Doesn't Want a Divorce

At the beginning of many marriages, spouses are equally excited about building a life together. Unfortunately, when the time come for some couples to part ways, the level of desire is oftentimes less balanced. It can be incredibly frustrating if you want to get a divorce but your husband or wife does not. Fortunately, there are numerous things you can do to get the divorce process rolling and save your money, time, and sanity.

  1. Choose Grounds for Divorce: New York requires spouses to cite a reason why you are seeking a divorce in your divorce petition. Choosing fault grounds when your spouse is already resisting divorce may be a bad idea and will likely result in a contested battle. No-fault grounds, however, generally cannot be contested.
  2. Research Rules for Service: Be sure to contact your county court or consult with a lawyer in order to understand exactly what is required to legally serve a copy of your divorce petition. If an error is made, your spouse may be able to block divorce proceedings by claiming they were not properly served, forcing you to start the process over.
  3. Be Patient: After serving your divorce petition, your spouse will have 20 to 30 days in which they must respond to the filing. If your spouse opposes your divorce, they will likely take their time responding to the filing or may not even respond at all. Be patient during this time.
  4. Contact the Court: If your spouse does not respond to your divorce packet, call the courts and inquire about how you can move forward and pursue a default judgment. You may be required to attend a hearing and testify that you have met the requirements for the cited grounds. No-fault grounds usually are satisfied simply by saying that your marriage has broken down beyond repair, though fault-based divorces may require you to convince a judge that the cited misconduct actually happened.
  5. Get Ready for Trial: If your spouse does not answer your divorce petition and a default judgment is not granted, it is important that you prepare yourself for trial. No-fault trials will only deal with issues such as property division, custody, and child support. Gather as much information as you can regarding the value of your assets and draft a proposed custody and visitation arrangement. If your divorce was fault-based, be prepared to back up your claims just as you would have had to do at a default judgment hearing. This can be crucial, as your spouse can defend themselves against these accusations and potentially require you to start the divorce process over if they are successful.

In any case, your chances of securing a favorable outcome are only as good as the legal team you have by your side. If your spouse is attempting to stop you from getting a divorce, get in touch with the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC today. Our Dutchess County divorce lawyers will stand by your side from start to finish and help you pursue the smoothest resolution possible.

Dial (845) 605-4330 today to find out more about how we can assist you.
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