How to Divorce When the Wife Is Not Willing

By Cindy Chung

Divorce can often become more stressful if you would like to end your marriage but your spouse does not. However, you can still obtain a divorce even if your wife does not want one. Although many divorce procedures remain the same regardless of whether your wife cooperates, you can try to increase the likelihood of your wife's participation. In addition, before filing for divorce, you should research the divorce procedures, including default options, followed by your own state. A default case would allow you to obtain a divorce on your own terms if your wife fails to respond to your divorce filing in a timely manner.

Divorce can often become more stressful if you would like to end your marriage but your spouse does not. However, you can still obtain a divorce even if your wife does not want one. Although many divorce procedures remain the same regardless of whether your wife cooperates, you can try to increase the likelihood of your wife's participation. In addition, before filing for divorce, you should research the divorce procedures, including default options, followed by your own state. A default case would allow you to obtain a divorce on your own terms if your wife fails to respond to your divorce filing in a timely manner.

Step 1

Research the grounds for divorce allowed in your state even when one spouse does not want to end the marriage — every state allows no-fault divorce based on a breakdown of the relationship or irreconcilable differences while some states also allow for fault-based divorce due to misconduct, such as abandonment or adultery.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now

Step 2

Identify the divorce grounds that fit your personal situation. If you choose a no-fault divorce, your wife cannot delay or stop the divorce case in the way she might be able to if you were to choose fault grounds and she attempts to disprove marital misconduct. Understand, however, that many states require a specific period of living "separate and apart" before you can obtain a no-fault divorce.

Step 3

Attempt to negotiate with your wife and talk to her about why she isn't willing to divorce. A neutral third party can sometimes help both spouses air their grievances and negotiate compromises. For example, if you learn your wife's reluctance to divorce stems from concern for your children, you can offer to participate in parenting classes for divorcing parents to show your wife that you are considering her concerns.

Step 4

Prepare to request a default judgment from the court in your divorce case, if you've filed for divorce but your wife refuses to participate and fails to file response papers within the specified period. Obtain the form required to request a default, as well as any forms required by state law for specific situations, such as default divorce with children. Write a proposed divorce judgment that includes the terms you would like the court to order — for example, propose court orders regarding property, alimony, child custody and other issues relevant to your personal situation.

Protect your loved ones by a legally binding will. Make a Will Online Now
What Happens If a Person Refuses to Sign Divorce Papers?

References

Resources

Related articles

What if My Wife in New York State Refuses to Divorce Me?

Until 2010, if you lived in New York and your wife refused to divorce you, she could have complicated the situation considerably by contesting your grounds. This changed when the state adopted the concept of no-fault divorce. Now you need only tell the court that your marriage isn't working out anymore – and your wife can't stop the proceedings. However, that might not stop her from trying.

Do My Custody Orders Still Stand After My Wife Adopts My Daughter?

If your current wife wants to adopt your daughter, the two of you must go through a legal process to make that happen. That legal process generally supersedes anything that happened before, including a custody order you had prior to the adoption. Laws vary from state to state regarding the stepparent adoption process, but in all jurisdictions, the establishment of a new parent-child relationship between your wife and your daughter is absolute. Your wife’s judgment of adoption would trump your ex’s rights under any previous custody order.

Can You Refuse to Give Your Spouse a Divorce in Georgia?

Your spouse may file for divorce, believing the marriage is over, but even if you aren’t ready to divorce just yet, it’s really not possible to refuse to divorce your spouse in any state, including Georgia. You can slow down the divorce process, but eventually the divorce will go through, even if your spouse has to refile the case to make it happen.

LegalZoom. Legal help is here. Start Here. Wills. Trusts. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Resolve an Unwanted Divorce

Your spouse wants a divorce. You want to save the marriage. There are legal ways to resolve an unwanted divorce, ...

How to Get a Wife to Sign Final Divorce Papers

You do not require your wife's signature to finalize a divorce; the only signature you need on the final divorce ...

What Are Desertion Divorce Papers?

Although divorce law is established at the state level, there are some common themes and requirements among the states. ...

Options Besides Divorce

As the song goes, breaking up is so very hard to do. Divorce can be financially and emotionally devastating, but it is ...

Browse by category