What If My Spouse Does Not Want To Get Divorced?
So what happens when you finally decide something for yourself and your spouse is not happy with it? Most of the time, you consider the needs of your family and spouse and take a step back. You rethink your decision and make changes. Unfortunately this is not the case when you are in an unhappy marriage. You master up the courage to have that difficult conversation and the next thing you know is that your spouse does not want a divorce. They try to change your mind and revaluate your thoughts towards the issue. You will go through a lot of questions such as, Am I being too selfish about getting a divorce? Is it too early to think about divorce? What if I’m the bad cop? How will I ever forgive myself once it’s done?
You need to ignore all those tricky questions in your mind at that time and focus on the procedure that awaits you ahead. Dealing with it emotionally will not always be an option. Many times your spouse will threaten you and even make you feel like it’s your fault that the marriage is not working or did not work out. Remember all this is the part of the process. Your spouse cannot stop you from getting a divorce but he/she can surely complicate the process. It can be incredibly frustrating because you’re already going through this difficult phase and your spouse is there to add more misery to it.
Washington being a No Fault Divorce state
Washington is a No-Fault Divorce state. This means that one party does not have to prove that the other party is wrong or is at fault. If you want a divorce, you can get it! All you have to do is file for it and hire a proper divorce attorney for it. If you cannot hire an attorney, then you can advocate for yourself too, only it takes a little longer and complicates the process.
It can take longer than usual
Do not PANIC or take your decision back. There are ways you can still get a divorce whether or not your spouse wants it or not. One of the many reasons of your spouse not agreeing for divorce is that he/she does not have a divorce attorney; he/she will have to represent themselves and be their own legal representative. Whereas, if you have a lawyer to speak for you then it will make it easier to file and support the arguments. The communication will be made between your attorney and your spouse then. And because of this, paperwork and filing may take a little longer than usual as your spouse will try to interpret legal documents on their own.
One attorney cannot support both clients
It is very much likely to happen that your spouse may seek legal advice from your attorney. It is important to note that there’s no conflict of interests. Your attorney cannot provide any legal advice to your spouse even if you are ok with it.
More court appearances
This can be a little frustrating for you as your attorney will be speaking for you and preparing you for court, telling you about the questions that can be asked and thrown at you whereas your spouse will be speaking for themselves. Your spouse however will not be receiving such preparation and will act as their own spokesperson throughout the whole process. Sometimes hearing your spouse throwing dirt at you and you staying silent in court will be frustrating for you. But do not lose temper in court as this can complicate the process even more.
Adultery and Abuse
If your spouse is involved in adultery and physical/mental abuse then you will have an added advantage and the divorce settlement might end in time without your spouse making it longer for you to get the divorce. But to prove that, you need to have solid arguments and proof to back your claim.
More than wrong doing and mistreatment, a few other factors are considered in No-Fault Divorce states such as:
- Safety of the divorcee/divorcer.
- Length of the marriage.
- Best interests of the children.
- Future financial prospects.
- Child custody.
- Safety of children.
- Settlements for children.