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Can I refuse to go through with a divorce?

Nothing is more difficult than making the decision to end your marriage. Most people go into their marriage with the feeling this marriage will last forever. You rarely find people who expect to see their marriage fall apart to the point one or both spouses are unwilling to continue to work through their issues and save their marriage. However, it happens all the time. Some couples just know things will not work out and make the decision to end their marriage when this occurs. Others aren’t so fortunate. They find out from a spouse that their marriage is no longer working.

Sometimes the other spouse is not in agreement and wants to work on their marriage. If you are faced with the shocking news your spouse is looking for a divorce and you don’t want one, you might just wonder if you can refuse to go through with the divorce. The answer is not black or white. You can refuse to divorce your husband or wife, but that doesn’t mean you won’t end up divorced.

When You Don’t Want to Divorce

If you’re served with divorce papers and you refuse to sign them on the grounds you refuse to get a divorce, there is a legal term used to classify what you’re doing. it’s called contesting the divorce. When you contest the divorce, it does nothing but prolongs the process and make it much worse for all involved. You simply cannot force someone to stay married to you if it’s not what they want. Once you contest a divorce by refusing to sign the papers, your divorce is headed to court.

You’ll see a judge and you’ll talk about your reasons to contest. You can tell the judge you simply don’t want to get a divorce, but that might not mean very much with the other spouse is willing to end your marriage. You can ask the court to talk about why you refuse to divorce your spouse and why you want to stay married, but the court cannot do anything if your spouse no longer wants to be married to you even if you do.

You can ask the court to require you go to mediation or therapy and work things out, but they cannot force someone to do that if that person is not in agreement. The court can ask your spouse if he or she is willing to work on the marriage, but the disagreement of the other party is all it takes for the court to determine the divorce will proceed or if it will be prolonged further.

The next thing to occur during this hearing is the decision to divide assets and child support and custody. It might not be agreed upon during this hearing, and it might mean you do go to mediation and work things out if you can. All this means is your divorce won’t be finalized for a while longer, but even the court will eventually grant the divorce if you continuously forgo signing the paperwork or even working on an agreement for your assets and kids. You will end up divorced, but you do have the option to refuse it by not signing the papers for your divorce.