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How to get a resistant spouse to agree to an uncontested divorce 

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Family Law |

There’s not one single reason you can point to that explains why all divorces occur. Spouses may grow apart over time, one (or both) parties may engage in infidelity, money issues can strain the relationship to the breaking point and more.

In some cases, calling the issue to each other’s attention may motivate a couple to sit down together to try and work things out. In other cases, one of you might simply be done with the relationship. What happens if one of you wants to end the marriage, but the other doesn’t?

How contested and uncontested divorces differ

If you take and present divorce papers to your spouse when they’re least expecting it, they might not respond very positively. They may ask if anything can be done to keep you from going down the divorce route. They may stall when you attempt to negotiate property division, child custody or support matters — and that can lead to a contested divorce.

Contested divorces simply mean that the court must step in and make some decisions on the couple’s behalf. Obviously, that’s much more time-consuming and expensive than an uncontested divorce, where couples essentially work out all the major issues between them and ask the court to sign off on their agreement.

Approaching your spouse with a cooperative spirit

Some psychologists argue that you should try and have an empathetic and honest conversation with your spouse if they seem unwilling to compromise. You should tell them why you are looking to divorce. They also note that you might want to give in and honor your spouse’s request to attend counseling to dispel any notion that reconciliation is possible and make it clear that your differences are real and there’s no hope of reconciliation. 

The expectation is that by doing all of this, your spouse will ultimately get the point that your marriage is over. It may be of some value to tell them how contested and uncontested divorces differ. The prospect of having someone other than yourself step in and make decisions about your property, children, and other matters is likely to make them want to resolve your differences out of the courtroom.

Generally speaking, it’s much easier to negotiate calmly and from a position of power when you understand both your rights and options in a divorce.

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