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What if your spouse refuses the divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2022 | Divorce And Family Law

When one spouse wants a divorce and the other doesn’t, things can get pretty complicated. Thankfully, if you find yourself in this situation, there are steps that you can take to navigate the process that don’t always involve bringing the matter into the Missouri courts.

Mediation or counseling

The first thing you want to do is talk with your spouse and try to work out a solution that both of you can agree on. Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party helps couples come to an agreement. Alternatively, counseling can help you both address the issues that are causing conflict and hopefully find a way to move forward together. For this process to work, both parties must be willing to participate.

Understand Missouri divorce laws

Each state has different laws governing divorce, so it’s important to understand your state’s specific rules and regulations. Generally speaking, if one spouse does not want a divorce, the other spouse will have to prove that their marriage is irretrievably broken. If the court finds this to be true, then the divorce can proceed even if one spouse does not want it.

A divorce petition is one of the ways you can prove that your marriage is irretrievably broken. Even if one spouse refuses to sign the petition, it may still get accepted by a court as long as they receive proper notice of the proceedings.

A legal separation

If both parties don’t want to divorce but do need some time apart while keeping the rights that come with being married, such as health insurance coverage or tax benefits, then a legal separation may be an option. A legal separation does not end the marriage, but it does allow for certain rights and obligations to be established between spouses. Just remember that a legal separation is not the same as a divorce, and couples may still be considered married in the eyes of the law.

Navigating a situation where one spouse doesn’t want a divorce can be highly complicated. It’s important to understand your state’s laws. By taking the time to consider all of your options, you can ensure that both parties are in agreement and find the best resolution for your unique situation.