I want to get divorce but my spouse is against it
The Washington laws clearly allow one to get a divorce with or without your partner’s approval. Divorces take slightly longer period of time if only one partner wants it and the other person is against it, compared with a mutually agreed divorce.
There are three possible scenarios:
- Legal matters become quite easy when both partners agree on the divorce and the terms of the divorce
- One partner files for divorce but the spouse is is against it and decides to be unresponsive. In this situation as well, the divorce proceeds swiftly
- The third situation is like the second situation except that the spouse actively contests it by disputing the terms of the divorce and thereby prolongs the case.
Situation 1 and 2
The process for first two situations is much faster.
What can you do if you want a divorce but your spouse does not want to get a divorce?
Every couple must discuss the divorce discuss the situation with each other openly. Instead of taking to long and living in an unhappy relationship, couples need to share their
intent with each other.
If this is not helpful then they need to spend some time with a marriage counselor. The
counselor with help them to understand the situation in a better way.
Now if the spouse still disagrees for filling a divorce then you can start the legal process
This will offer two options to your spouse. Either to remain unresponsive or to contest
the divorce by simply responding to the legal notification. In first situation, the filler can
speedily finalize the divorce under a process called “Ex Parte.”
“Ex Parte” in Washington laws means going before the court without notifying the other
party i.e. your spouse. It sometimes also can mean that the courtroom where you see a
judge without notifying your spouse.
“What if my spouse does not want to get divorced?” you enquire. Well, your first basic
approach should be to convey your feelings to your spouse and talk it out. Try to make
him/her understand the differences you have in your lifestyles now versus when you first
got married. You can make this simpler by going to a couples counselor or therapist.
Your best shot at having an uncomplicated divorce process is your partner being
collaborative with you. This way you can apply for divorce by filing a joint application.
Such a divorce is known as a no-default or an uncontested divorce.
To proceed with a no-default or uncontested divorce and being content with your
spouse towards decisions regarding custody of children, alimony, division of property
and debt etc., you should hire a mediator instead of litigating each other through
lawyers. A mediator cost-effective and will assist in processing the divorce as peacefully
as possible. An experienced mediator will accommodate to the demands of both you
and your spouse and will help you analyze your future in the best interests of you, your
spouse and your children.
“Only I want divorce and partner is not signing the papers.”
The misconception of having your spouse’s permission for divorcing should not get in
your way i.e. divorce without partner’s agreement is possible. If both of you have filed
the relevant paperwork and have submitted it to court (uncontested divorce) but your
spouse refuses to sign them off, your case may be proceeded as an uncontested
divorce as per the judge after which the both of you may be provided an opportunity of
being heard. A notice will be served to you for an appearance at the court on a
particular date. If your spouse still fails to show up at the court on the given date, the
divorce will be processed as though it is an uncontested divorce and the judge will pass
an order on the basis of your divorce petition filed by you in the beginning of this
“What if my partner does not agree to get divorced?”
Your last resort may be to enter a default divorce if your partner refuses to file a joint
application. Generally, one spouse files a divorce petition and the other spouse
(defendant) files a response against the petitioner. If you have served your spouse
properly for divorce, they are then notified by the court of a deadline by which the
response shall be submitted (usually 30 days) or given a date for hearing. The
defendant spouse must do the paperwork within the specified time or show up at the
court at the specified date in order to claim all of their rights. However, if they fail to do
so or can’t be located, you may file a request for a default divorce. Hiring a divorce
attorney in such a case would be preferable for clarity of the entire procedure. Finally,
the judge will issue orders and judgments regarding your case on the basis of
information mentioned in the divorce petition signed by you.