Can you get a divorce without your spouse's consent? 22 Answers as of June 11, 2013

I want to get a divorce and my wife does not. She is very religious and does not want to get divorced for that reason, even though our marriage has been falling apart for a while now. I just think we would be better off not being together. Do I need to take special steps in the divorce proceedings since she is not willing to speak to me or move forward with the divorce?

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Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
California is a "no fault" state, which means that you can get a divorce even if your wife does not want a divorce. Please contact our office so that we can discuss the particulars of your case and determine whether our legal representation is appropriate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/30/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Of course you can. Divorce is never about both people having to agree upon it. If the two of you could agree on things, you most likely wouldn't want a divorce in the first place. New York state now has what's known as a "No Fault" divorce statute which means you don't have to allege any fault against your spouse in order to obtaina divorce. You just have to want one and ask for such relief from the courts to get it. I strongly suggest you consult with an experienced martimonial attorney and discover what all your rights are in such matters. And no, you don't have do anything special because she won't talk to you. Again, that's a good reason for the divorce in the first place. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/29/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
I recommend counseling and making every effort to salvage the marriage, even more so if there are children involved. Even more so, if there are young children involved. Every couple fights. Whenever there are more than one person involved in any situation, there are disagreements. Having said that. If you have exhausted all attempts at reconciliation and still see no other way, then, yes, you can hire counsel, have her served with a complaint for divorce which she will have to answer or face default.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 3/29/2011
Keri Burnstein, P.C.
Keri Burnstein, P.C. | Keri Burnstein
In Michigan, we have no fault divorce. A party cannot prevent the divorce, they may be able to slow the process but not prevent it. You should contact a divorce attorney to understand the entire process. I have free consultations as do many other attorneys. Good luck to you.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/29/2011
Raheen Law Group, P.C.
Raheen Law Group, P.C. | Wali Raheen
First, I would strongly suggest seeking marriage counseling. Sometimes, differences could be resolved much more easily then we think. Virginia recognizes no-fault divorce. It requires you and your spouse to be separated for a period of six months (and if any children are involved, for a period of one year), and then you could file for divorce. You don't need consent of your spouse to obtain divorce.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 3/29/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    I handled a case about 10 years ago in which the wife was very religious, she did not believe in divorce and wanted her husband (my client) to work on the marriage. We filed the case, and proceeded normally, all the while she simply insisted the marriage would work if he would try. On the date of our trial, she appeared at court and made a very eloquent speech to the Judge about the sanctity of marriage, her religious beliefs and how she knew that this marriage could be salvaged "if he would only try". It was a truly moving speech that I wish I had a copy of now, but when she was done, the Judge turned to my client and asked two simple questions. 1) Sir, did you hear what your wife just said?

    2) Are you willing to work on this marriage? My client did hear but he was not willing to work on the marriage. At which point, and I could see in the Judge's expression that he truly despised what he was about to say, the Judge told the wife "marriage is a lot of work, it is more work than you can do on your own. Your husband does not want to work on this and I cannot make him." I will not go into further detail on the matter other than to say that the Judge gave her time to find a lawyer and deal with the situation.

    I think he was far too kind, there was no motion for continuance on file, there was no legal basis for not granting the divorce right then and there. But my client also did not object to the extension of time. What is important for your consideration is the fact that it takes two to be married but only one to quit. Your spouse cannot force her religious concerns on the court and deny you the relief you seek. What I will tell you is this, if you want a divorce, there may be a couple obstacles (I suspect she will not make serving her easy) the divorce can be obtained even if she objects. If however, you have any inclination to go to counseling . . . (yes ,you are reading the words of a divorce lawyer here) . . . I would tell you to go to counseling first, she is willing to work on the marriage, so it is up to you. Either way, the short answer to your question is No, you do not need to take any special steps and No. she cannot stop the divorce as long as you want one. Hope that helps.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/29/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    It is always easier when there is cooperation but no,she doesn't need to cooperate and you can still get divorced in Washington state. She can't stop the divorce by just not cooperating. You file and serve her. If she doesn't respond, the court willlet you obtain the relief you asked for when you filed by default. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    Yes you can get divorced without her consent. If she does not respond to your filing, she will be in default and you will be able to push the case through that way. If she does respond, you will need to set a trial to complete your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    Yes, you can. Illinois does not force you to stay in a marriage just because one spouse does not want out. Call our office to schedule a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your options and the steps needed to move forward with your life.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    In California you may obtain a divorce over the objection of the other spouse. California is a no fault state which only requires irreconcilable differences from either party, and the court will grant a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Law Office of Martin Blank
    Law Office of Martin Blank | Martin E. Blank
    It is quite common for one spouse not to want the divorce. Michigan is a no fault state and you can file and get divorced even if she does not want a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/30/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You don't need your wife's consent to divorce her. All you need are "irreconcilable differences", and you have them - your wife doesn't want a divorce and you do. An ordinary divorce will accomplish what you want.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    She can not stop you from getting a divorce. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. There is no cost to you for the telephone call, or for the first meeting at my office.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    You need to file. If your wife does not "respond" (a legal term, meaning she has to file something in writing) within 30 days of being served with your divorce paperwork, then you will win automatically. Since she is unwilling to discuss this, you should arrange to have her served by law enforcement. Most local sheriff offices will do this for about $50. She cannot make you stay married. But she can decide to fight you for child custody, money, property, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    In California, you do not need consent of the other party to get a divorce. An attorney can make the process move smoother. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    In California, it only takes one spouse to file for divorce. Even if the other spouse doesn't want a divorce, there is no way to stop it. If the spouse that doesn't want the divorce will not participate in the process, then you can finalize the case by default. Best to call a local family law lawyer for assistance. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2011
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