How to Stop a Divorce From Happening

By Beverly Bird

Stopping a divorce isn't so much a legal question as it is one of saving your marriage. Legally, if your spouse is intent on getting a divorce, there's usually nothing you can do to prevent it. The best you can do is buy yourself some time to try to change his mind.

Make Sure Time is On Your Side

In some states, uncontested divorces can be over relatively quickly. But an uncontested divorce requires that you and your spouse reach a marital settlement agreement, so if you don't negotiate one, this will eventually force a trial. Trials take much longer, and this may give you time to open a dialogue with your spouse about what you can do to avoid a divorce. The downside is that if your case does go to trial because you won't agree to a settlement, you risk losing things that your spouse might have agreed to give you.

Contest Your Spouse's Grounds

If your spouse files for divorce on fault grounds and you contest them, he must prove his grounds at trial. If he fails to do so, the court will typically dismiss his divorce action. This won't make him happy, however, and he can refile for divorce using no-fault grounds instead. In this case, he typically would not have to prove his grounds to the judge. At best, if you disagree that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences, the judge might order you to attend counseling, but he can't order your spouse to stay married to you. Ultimately, he will still obtain the divorce.

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

If You're Successful

If you can convince your spouse to try to mend your marriage, make sure he files a motion of dismissal with the court to terminate the divorce proceedings. In many states, such as Washington, this is the only way the divorce can be officially stopped after one party files. If he doesn't do this, he might decide to proceed with the divorce without your involvement. In this case, your spouse can request a divorce by default if you don't respond to the divorce petition -- and the court will likely award him everything he requested in his petition.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Get a Divorce When One Spouse Won't Agree


Related articles

Motion to Reinstate a Divorce Complaint

Deadlines and mandatory court filings can complicate the divorce process, especially when you’re representing yourself and you're unsure of the rules. It’s surprisingly easy to take a misstep that might result in the court throwing out your case by dismissing your complaint. Fortunately, you can usually remedy the situation very easily by correcting your error and filing a motion with the court to reinstate it.

What Happens When Your Spouse Disappears in the Middle of Your Divorce and Is Represented by Counsel?

It's possible for a spouse to disappear midway through divorce proceedings, especially if he doesn’t want the divorce. Many people believe that if they don’t participate, the divorce can’t go through. This has no basis in fact. The court will finalize the divorce without your spouse's participation. However, his disappearance will undoubtedly complicate the divorce for a while and slow its progress.

What Happens if a Divorce Respondent Doesn't Answer in Missouri?

A spouse might refuse to acknowledge divorce papers for any number of reasons. He might hope that if he ignores them, they'll go away. He might mistakenly believe that if he doesn't respond, he can block the divorce. In Missouri, neither of these assumptions is true. If the respondent doesn't answer a petition for divorce, the divorce will happen anyway, sometimes with very unfavorable consequences to him.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Get Divorced if the Spouse's Location Is Unknown

Although it’s possible to divorce a missing spouse, technology and the Internet might make it possible to avoid ...

Can I Counter Sue an Abusive Spouse for Mistreatment During a Divorce?

Divorce guarantees you will have your day in court if you really want it. If you don't reach a settlement with your ...

Can Someone Refuse to Get Divorced in Illinois?

Spouses often divorce because they cannot seem to get along, and sometimes that struggle carries over into the divorce ...

What to Do If Your Spouse Filed an Uncontested Divorce & You Did Not Know?

A divorce doesn't start out as uncontested – it ends that way. In most states, uncontested simply means that spouses ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED