Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia
Located and practicing in Martinsburg and throughout Eastern West Virginia

Your spouse can’t say no to a divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2022 | Family law

When you went to your spouse to tell them that you wanted to get a divorce, you expected that they would not agree with you or be happy about it. You were certainly aware that a divorce wasn’t what they wanted, even though you had decided it would be best for you. But what you didn’t expect was that they would tell you that you can’t get a divorce and that they’re not going to agree to it.

Hearing them tell you this may be shocking for you, but perhaps your spouse seems very convinced that they have this ability to deny the divorce. Perhaps they claim that, just as you need both people to agree to get married, you need both people to agree to get divorced. But is this true?

A default divorce

First and foremost, your spouse’s assertation that marriage and divorce work the same way is simply false. It does take both people to agree to get married, but only you or your spouse need to decide to start the divorce proceedings. It does not take both of you and you can certainly move forward on your own if your spouse will not cooperate.

Moreover, your spouse may continue not cooperating by refusing to sign the divorce papers or refusing to go to court dates, for example. They may believe that this lack of cooperation can prevent a divorce from moving forward since their own involvement is necessary.

But since they are actually not necessary for this process, the court can rule for a default divorce. This means that you are granted your divorce even without your spouse’s cooperation, and the court can make rulings about property division or child custody. They do not need your ex to do so, but this is still a legal divorce and your marriage does end. In fact, it can even help your situation in some ways, because you’re more likely to get the custody arrangement that you requested from the court if your spouse isn’t there to contest it.

It may be complicated

In a scenario where your spouse won’t cooperate, however, your divorce may be more complicated than it needs to be. Be sure that you are well aware of all of your legal options.