What You Can Do When the Desire for a Divorce is One-Sided

divorce contract and pen

Sometimes, even when your marriage is obviously going downhill already, your spouse still won’t agree to a divorce. It can be quite frustrating, especially when they also aren’t doing anything to save your marriage.

When you find yourself in this situation, consider giving it time before calling an experienced divorce attorney in Colorado Springs, Colorado, or in any other place. Forcing your spouse to consent to the divorce may result in a heavier burden, so note the following tips to be able to work things out with your spouse:

1. Consider Counseling

When your marriage is in turmoil, getting out of it shouldn’t be your only option, except for severe circumstances. Try approaching a marriage counselor or a divorce coach first. Or you can go to individual counseling to receive advice on whether you’re making the right decision, or if there’s still a chance to resolve things with your spouse and save the marriage.

If your spouse agrees, you should go to counseling sessions together to discuss your feelings honestly with the presence of a professional. This will help determine if there could be other solutions to your marriage woes.

2. Talk to Your Spouse Compassionately

When you express your desire for a divorce to your spouse, they’d be overcome with negative emotions that can affect their willingness to cooperate with you. That said, it’s important to open up the divorce with consideration for their emotions. Avoid approaching the topic with hostility, but rather, acknowledge their pain and take the time to listen to them.

Try not to avoid your spouse during this period, either. Communication is highly important when dealing with the possibility of a divorce, so be available all the time.

husban and wife figure experiencing separation

3. Give Your Spouse Time

Even if things are already falling apart between you and your spouse, they may still not expect your decision to divorce them. Give them time to register your decision and to sort out their own feelings as well.

4. Seek Legal Counsel

When you’ve both decided that getting a divorce is the right thing to do, seek legal counsel to discuss your options for a divorce method. In case your spouse is still expressing refusal, filing for a fault divorce may be a struggle because you need to present evidence of their wrongdoing and your spouse may contest by denying your claims. In this scenario, you have the option to just file for no-fault grounds because there’s nothing to contest in this type of divorce.

After handing out your divorce petition to your spouse, wait within the time period given by your state for their response. If your spouse files their response to the court, you may need to go to trial for the divorce proceedings. If they ignore your petition, find out with the state court if the divorce can be declared a default. Note that in most states, however, you may need to request for this formally, attend a hearing to testify that you’ve complied with the state’s requirements, and prove your ground.

If you’ve filed a no-fault divorce, you may only need to state to the judge that your marriage is over. In other cases, the judge might need to be convinced and this could involve providing evidence of a fault, such as adultery.

A trial is also a possibility if your spouse doesn’t respond to a no-fault divorce petition, but it would only discuss your division of assets and custody of your children. On the other hand, if you’ve filed for fault grounds, the trial would proceed like a criminal trial — you’d be required to present evidence of their wrongdoing, and your spouse will be given the right to defend himself or herself. If they win the trial, the judge won’t grant you the divorce and you’d have to start over again.

Before deciding to file a divorce, it’s important to discuss it with your spouse as peacefully as you can. Explore all your options other than a divorce and only finalize your decision once you’ve tried every possible solution.

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