image of divorcing couple

How to Pursue a Divorce When Your Spouse Doesn’t Want One

In the old days, both parties needed to agree to a divorce. Today, only one person needs to request a divorce — but there are still some challenges for those who aren’t divorcing amicably. Here’s what you need to know.

Your First Step Should Be to an Attorney

Your spouse can’t refuse a divorce. But what they can do is make the process more difficult. They may hide assets or disagree on assets. They may draw out court proceedings. They may try to complicate custody, if you have children. They may disagree on what to do with large, shared assets, like cars and houses.

Your first step in any divorce should be an attorney. You should never have the same attorney as your spouse. Your attorney needs to be focused on advocating for you.

Your attorney will be able to tell you what you should do to protect yourself.

You Should Document Everything

Divorces can easily become complex when both spouses aren’t on the same page. This can happen even if both parties want a divorce; if they don’t agree on the terms, things can get drawn out. That can cost both time and money.

The best way to deal with these issues is through documentation. Not only should you have everything about your financial situation documented, but you should also document all your interactions with your spouse. Through writing rather than a phone is best; if you can communicate through email and text, you should.

If things become extremely aggressive, it’s best to communicate through lawyers.

You Probably Will Go to Court

If your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, they may not agree to your terms nor agree to mediation. That means you’re headed to court.

When you go to court, the judge’s interest is in dividing everything fairly. Because of this, they will need the documentation that you provide. A judge cannot know who is telling the truth in a “he said, she said” situation; they absolutely need to be given firm information to go on. This is where a lawyer can help, as they will know exactly what information to present to the judge.

A divorce can always be one-sided. Your spouse does not need to agree to a divorce for you to be granted one. But be prepared for everything to be more complicated. It’s likely that you’re going to be headed to court if your spouse isn’t going to come to an agreement. Your lawyer can give you more information based on your unique situation.