Can I get an uncontested divorce after 10 years of separation? 69 Answers as of May 29, 2013

My wife and I have been married for 30 years, but have been separated for more than 10 years. In the past she has refused to "let me go". Can I obtain an uncomplicated uncontested divorce?

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Austin Hirschhorn, P.C.
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
Under the Michigan "no fault" divorce law you can get a divorce by filing a complaint that says "there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed". If your wife files an answer to the complaint and you and she can not agree on a division of the marital property you will not have an uncomplicated uncontested divorce. The number of years that you have been separated should make the property division and spousal support issues easier to resolve but you can't control what your wife may do if you file.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/15/2012
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/29/2013
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
It is only "uncontested" if all issues are in agreement and she is willing to cooperate and sign a marital settlement agreement and other necessary documents. Otherwise, you have no choice but to file for divorce and have her served.

She cannot stop you from getting a divorce, but she can delay it. The length of separation has no impact on the divorce process.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/14/2012
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
Yes, it may be contested but it will not be uncomplicated.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/14/2012
Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
Yes, but only if she agrees to the divorce and the two of you can reach a full agreement as to all of the issues that may exist: property division, spousal support, debt division, division of retirement benefits (I assume that there are no minor children so custody, support and parenting time should not be at issue).

That is what is meant by "uncontested." If she is not cooperative, you can still get divorced, it will just take longer and the court may have to conduct a trial on the issues if she refuses to negotiate settlement.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/14/2012
    Kenneth A. Friedman, P.A.
    Kenneth A. Friedman, P.A. | Kenneth A. Friedman
    Florida is a no-fault divorce state. She can't prevent you from getting a divorce. However, after a lengthy marriage, and despite a separation, there may be property or support issues that have to be determined and might prevent your case from being 'uncontested'. You should seek the advice of an attorney as to how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    After 30 years of marriage can you get an uncomplicated divorce? Do you still own property together? Have you paid her support?

    I wold need a lot more information , but the fact is: you will not pull this off without a lawyer. Get to a family law practitioner today.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    If your wife does not cooperate you will not have an "uncomplicated" divorce. However may issues are already resolved because of the long separation. You may call for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Hanna Legal, LLC
    Hanna Legal, LLC | Jen Hanna
    How complicated your divorce is will depend on assets, debts, etc - not on how long you've been separated.

    You can certainly get a divorce, but whether or not it is uncontested depends on how you and your wife are able to work out the details.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
    Michigan is a no fault divorce state, you can get divorced for any reason or no reason at all. Our wife can't fight being divorced, but she can contest any property or debt issues, if there are any remaining after a 10 year separation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Milton Acevedo, Esq.
    Milton Acevedo, Esq. | Milton Acevedo, Esq.
    An uncontested divorce means that neither party contests the divorce. If there are minor children, property, liabilities or assets that need to be addressed, it can still be simple if the parties agree on all the issues. I hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    There is no such thing as an uncomplicated divorce. You should get an attorney and file for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna PC | Maryanne Spryszak-Hanna
    You can get a divorce. Whether or not it is uncontested depends on whether she hires an attorney. You can still get a divorce, though.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Gardner Law Firm, PLC | Brandon Gardner
    You need to file for divorce in the appropriate county and serve her. If she does not file an answer, you can enter a default judgment of divorce within months. You are not officially divorced in Michigan before entering a judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Washington is a no fault state. You don't need a reason to get divorced and she can't stop you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
    Uncontested divorces occur when both parties agree before the filing of the petition. If your wife will not agree then it is not uncontested.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    In Rhode Island and probably in other states, you file a divorce based on living separate and apart for more than three years. As long as you can prove that, she cannot contest granting the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    In order to get what we call an uncontested divorce the parties must agree to it and sign documents saying so. There would be a petition, an answer and waiver, and an agreement which resolves all of the issues. If she will not agree to getting a divorce, you must pay a lot more money because it will be considered a contested divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    You can get divorced and there is nothing your wife can do to stop it. That is true now and it was true the day after you left.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    You can in Georgia if one party states the marriage is irretrivabley broken that is all that is needed.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/29/2013
    Goncalves Law Office | Humberta Goncalves-Babbitt
    RI, as most states, is a no fault divorce state. That means that your wife can not refuse "to let you go."

    You can most certainly file for divorce and the fact that you have lived separate and apart for over 3 years makes the process shorter in some respects. However, that does not guarantee that case will be uncomplicated if your wife wants to make it difficult for you although you will ultimately obtain the divorce you want.

    She will need to have notice of the filing (i.e., be served with a copy of your complaint) and will have the opportunity to respond to your complaint for divorce. In the event she does not respond, then the matter will be resolved quickly and painlessly for you.

    As always, my further advice is to contact an experienced divorce attorney and please remember that while you are legally married all assets either of you obtain, and some debts, are marital property and belong to both parties.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    Under Washington state law, you can obtain a divorce without the consent (and over the objection) of the other spouse. Whether is will be "uncomplicated" depends of your particular facts. However, the longer you wait the more complicated it will become.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    Since you are still technically married you will have to file papers and have your wife served with them. Only then will you know whether this divorce can be handled in an "uncontested' fashion. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    Yes. If she does not agree you will need to file a contested matter that may become uncontested.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    The cause of action may be uncontested, but there may be other matters which are highly contested. . . your pension, for example.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    You are entitled to a dissolution[divorce] and your wife can not keep you from ultimately getting a decree but she can contest the issues as to property division that may keep the proceeding from being "an uncomplicated, uncontested divorce".
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    Yes, just file, but she has rights and may contest it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    Short answer is yes. The issue of being uncomplicated is entirely up to the both of you. Uncontested means you both agree on all aspects of the divorce and there is no fighting over every little issue.

    If she does not want a divorce that in and of it's self will not stop the proceedings, but much will depend on if, and what type of assets you have, i.e. real-estate, pensions and so on,also what types of debts you may have just because you have been apart for 10 years does not mean that you may not be liable for certain debts.

    One good thing in RI since you have been apart for more then 3 years your divorce will be final in 30 days rather then the normal 90.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    There is one good way to find out: Ask your wife. If she refuses, do a divorce just like anybody else would have to do a divorce, and live with the possibility that some issues may need to be determined by the Judge if you and she can't settle them.

    The longer you keep letting the calendar click away, the longer you will have to file your income taxes as "Married Filing Separately", pay taxes based on a higher marginal tax rate, and be unavailable for a better marriage with somebody else.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office
    Law Office | Timothy J. Lopez
    Only if your wife agrees and there are no disputed issues.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    If she agrees to it, it will be uncontested.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Rhonda Ellifritz | Rhonda Ellifritz
    I don't know about uncontested, but you do have a right to a divorce in California whether she wants it or not.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    Yes, as long as you can serve her with the petition for divorce you can obtain a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    If you have been separated for 10 years you can file a divorce and it should be relatively easy UNLESS you have supported her during your separation.

    Generally speaking Michigan has a no-fault divorce law and judges will not force you to stay married.. so her statement that she will not let you go has no legal meaning.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Robert J. Merlin, P.A.
    Robert J. Merlin, P.A. | Robert J. Merlin
    Check with your local family courthouse for the procedure. The length of your marriage is irrelevant when it comes to uncontested divorces.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes, however no divorce is uncontested.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Attorney at Law | John P. Rivers
    Your wife can agree that the divorce be granted and that each of you waives all claims against the other for alimony, division of marital property, etc.

    I am assuming that there are no minor children.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    Even after 10 years of separation, you must serve your wife with your Petition for Dissolution.

    Her response will determine whether the matter is uncontested or not.

    If you do not know where she is, you could publish notice of your Petition and obtain a dissolution of the marriage.

    If the only issue is whether or not she will "let you go", in Missouri she cannot prevent you from obtaining a divorce if you desire one.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    You must file and you will get a divorce but there will be some financial terms that must be resolved by the Court. Do it ASAP because she would still be an heir to some of your estate even if you made a new Will trying to cut her out.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    ADELMAN & SEIDE, LLP
    ADELMAN & SEIDE, LLP | GEORGE N. SEIDE
    This advice does not establish an attorney client relationship, which may only be accomplished through a written agreement.

    Yes, you may get an uncontested dissolution. From the date of filing and service the earliest a dissolution may be granted so that the parties can remarry is six months. You could have been separated 20 years and still get an uncontested dissolution.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    The answer to that question will depend on you and your wife and your relative abilities to compromise and move forward.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    Whether you can get an uncontested divorce depends on your wife. How long you have been separated is not the issue.

    If she is willing to sign a waiver of service and notice of future hearings, and will sign an agreement as to property and children, should you have any, then you can get an uncontested and uncomplicated divorce.

    If, however, she refuses to sign and refuses to cooperate, then you will have to have her served with divorce papers and the judge will have to hold a hearing about your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    Yes, you can obtain a divorce. If you have resided in Nevada (clark county) for the past six weeks, you can obtain a divorce in Nevada. It will be helpful if you have an address of your spouse.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/15/2012
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    You can get divorced. Whether it will be uncontested is another matter.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If you are in Colorado the answer is clearly YES, because there is no requirement for any period of separation.

    All that is required is that at least one of you believes the marriage is "irrtreivably broken" and the other party cannot object or prevent the divorce.

    Whether the case will be "uncontested" depends on whether you and your wife can agree to all the necessary financial issues arising from terminating your marriage.

    If you can't agree, it will become "contested" because a judge will have to decide those things you can't agree upon.

    If you are in another state, you need to consult an attorney in that state to see what your options are, but 10 years of separation should be sufficient even in those states that require some period of separation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The number of years that you are separated does not determine whether the divorce will be uncontested.

    If you and your spouse can agree on all issues, it may be uncontested. If you cannot, it will be contested.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    Michigan is a no-fault divorce state so yes, you could obtain a divorce whether she wanted one or not.

    Since you have been separated for 10 years there should be few issues to resolve and it should be uncomplicated.

    If there are no children under 18 involved, there is a 60 day waiting period from the time you file until you can have a final hearing, 180 days if there are children under 18.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Theodora Fader | Theodora Fader
    You are absolutely entitled to get a divorce and your spouse does not have to agree to it.

    What would make the case contested is the issues of property and debt division and support (spousal support or child support).

    If you and your spouse do not reach an agreement as to the division of property and debt as well as support, you would not be able to get a divorce without the court deciding those issues following a trial.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    Not if she won't agree to it. You can get a divorce of course. Whether or not it will cost you a lot of time and money depends on the issues and how difficult she wants to make the process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    An "uncontested" divorce in California is either a default or settlement by mutual agreement.

    If you have filed and served a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage on your wife and she has filed a Response, but refuses to reach an agreement on settlement terms, then you will need to terminate the marriage by a trial.

    If she doesn't file a Response, you can take a default.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Yes. Divorce in New Jersey is very easy Your wife can not prevent a divorce. Call me and I will explain.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Yes, there is nothing to prevent you from reaching a settlement on all your issues and submit a marital settlement agreement to the court.

    The length of time to complete the divorce still remains a minimum of 6 months from the date the respondent is served.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Gregory C. Graf
    Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
    You can file for dissolution of marriage. This is a no-fault state so the only issues will be the division of property and debt.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    That depends on your wife. For an uncomplicated divorce both you and your wife will have to agree on all issues.

    If there are issues about division of property, retirement or even support it will not be uncontested. Then it depends on whether you or she will give in or if the issues have to go to trial.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    It is difficult to answer this question without knowing more about your situation. Arizona is a "no fault" divorce state, so the other party does not have to agree to a divorce; however, the "marital" assets and debts still need to be divided, and there's no way to know whether the other party will agree regarding the division of those items. I recommend you consult with an attorney regarding the details of this situation so you can decide your best course of action.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    If she agrees, yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Offices of Rachel Koch | Rachel Maxine Koch
    In Illinois you can obtain a divorce based on irreconcilable differences when the parties have been living separately (not as husband and wife) for two years or more years.

    Even if it has only been six months, parties can sign a waiver of the two year waiting period. "Uncontested," however, usually refers to an agreed divorce, which is another possible way to obtain a divorce when the parties agree on basic issues like property and/or custody.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    If she agrees you can obtain an uncontested divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If you are in CA, then as long as your ex is willing to agree to all terms, then it's a fairly simple process to finalize one's divorce. You could finalize your case by a method known as: "default by agreement."

    If she isn't in agreement, but doesn't respond to your divorce petition, you could proceed by pure default. However, there are a few hurdles to jump with that process, depending on facts not mentioned in your question.

    FYI: there is a process in CA called "summary dissolution," but given what you said in your question, you don't qualify. You can look up "summary dissolution" requirements online (Google search). Best to hire a local family law lawyer to help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Have you filed for divorce? Your wife will either respond or not. If she responds, it is contested. If not, it is uncontested. Your wife cannot, however, prevent the divorce. Please feel free to call me if you would like to speak to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    Great question. Whether or not you can obtain an uncomplicated and uncontested divorce depends upon your wife. If she agrees, no problem. If not, maybe its time for you to get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    Whether it is uncontested depends entirely on your wife- if she decides to contest it then NO- but after 10 years of separation it would not seem there is much to contest however.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    Yes. In New Jersey you can get an uncontested divorce after 18 months separation. There are also other grounds that you can use. You do not need your wife's okay.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You can get a divorce whether or not you spouse wants it. That does not mean it will be uncontested.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Marca Tanner Attorney at Law | Marca Tanner
    If you have no real property and no minor children, yes, you should be able to. You can go to the Utah courts website, find their self help section, and do your own divorce with the courts' online forms.

    HOWEVER, if you DO own real property, OR have minor children, it will be more complicated. If the wife refuses to respond to the Petition for Divorce, you can get a default entered based on the petition you filed. If she does answer, your uncontested divorce is not to be, and you'll have to go through the divorce process.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you and your wife agree on all of the terms that need to be resolved in your divorce then yes, it can be handled in a fairly uncomplicated and inexpensive manner.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/14/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Only if she agrees. If she agrees to the divorce, yes, it can be uncontested and uncomplicated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/14/2012
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