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What happens when one spouse refuses to get divorced?

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2021 | Divorce |

Sometimes, both spouses realize they are in a marriage that cannot be saved and agree to get a divorce. But most often, only one spouse wants to end things.

The other spouse might think the relationship can be fixed, or they are determined to stay together “for the kids” or to keep up appearances. Or they are not ready to accept the fact that a divorce is the best option for everyone involved.

Even if your spouse won’t agree to a divorce or is dragging out the process, you can still get divorced in Pennsylvania. It may not be as quick as an uncontested divorce. However, you will still be able to dissolve your marriage and walk away with a reasonable property division and child custody order.

How to tell your spouse you are ready for a divorce

Here are a few tips for what to do if you want a divorce and your spouse does not:

  • Be sure this is what you want. Don’t threaten a divorce just to hurt your spouse unless you really mean it.
  • Once you have come to a decision, tell your spouse you want a divorce. Be firm, clear and don’t leave open the possibility that you will change your mind.
  • Give them an explanation if they ask for one and seem genuinely stunned.

Usually, the spouse who did not want the divorce eventually accepts reality and begins negotiating things like property division and child support in good faith. But when they don’t, it may be time to bring in the Divorce Master.

A Divorce Master is an attorney who is appointed to examine your case and make recommendations to the judge overseeing your divorce. They will conduct a hearing in which each side can give testimony and present evidence.

You get to decide if you want a divorce

Using a Divorce Master can help you move your divorce along, even if your ex is dragging their feet. Whether you use one or another strategy, you are in charge of your life, not your spouse. If you want to end your marriage, it can be done, even if your spouse won’t cooperate.