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.

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.

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.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

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.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Get Free Divorce Papers

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Obtain a Legal Separation in Maryland

In Maryland, a "limited divorce" is the equivalent of a legal separation in many other states. A limited divorce will allow you and your spouse to negotiate many of the legal issues relevant to ending a marriage, but a judgment of limited divorce will not allow you to remarry. Some couples choose limited divorce because they do not yet meet the requirements to obtain an absolute divorce, which permanently ends a marriage and allows remarriage to others. However, you can also choose limited divorce if you do not intend to get an absolute divorce in the future.

Can You File for Divorce Anywhere?

The divorce process is governed entirely by state law. Often, significant differences between states regarding the recognized grounds for divorce and how matters related to custody, property, and spousal support are decided. However, you are not free to simply file in any jurisdiction you choose; you must meet the state specific residency requirements. These laws require you to have some connection with the state before pursuing a divorce action.

What Happens After Filing for Divorce in Oregon?

When you file for divorce, you will complete a divorce petition. The petition asks for personal information about both you and your spouse, including your home address. In addition, you must include the terms of your divorce in the petition. For example, you will decide how to divide the marital property and child custody arrangements. Whether you and your spouse agree about the terms of your divorce will determine what occurs after you file for divorce.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to File a Motion for Divorce if a Spouse Is Stalling

If you want a divorce, but your spouse is stalling, you can still get a divorce. All 50 states now offer a no-fault ...

Do it Yourself Georgia Divorce

Filing for a divorce in Georgia can be expensive if you hire an attorney to assist you. Depending on the complexity of ...

What Do I Do if I Think My Wife Is Going to Divorce Me?

When you believe that a divorce is imminent, taking preparatory steps can help you protect your assets as well as ...

How to Divorce a Wife That Left the State

When a wife has left the state, it is still possible to file for divorce. Often, a couple may file for divorce in ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED