How Do I Pursue a Divorce if My Spouse Does Not Want To?

Making the decision to end your marriage surely was not easy, but when your spouse wants to make the divorce as difficult as possible, or if they genuinely are hoping to salvage your marriage, pursuing a divorce can be more of a challenge. Below, we go into further detail about what a contested divorce is and what steps you should take if your spouse refuses to give you a divorce. 

What It Means for Your Divorce to Be Contested

In Pennsylvania, it is far more common for married couples seeking divorce to file for divorce on no-fault grounds, meaning neither spouse is blaming the other for the breakdown of the marriage (they are simply stating that they are no longer able to remain in the marriage). However, in order to obtain a no-fault divorce, both spouses will need to agree. 

When one spouse does not want to end the marriage and the other does, the divorce will be considered contested, regardless of whether a fault or no-fault divorce was going to be sought.

Steps to Take if Your Spouse Refuses to Give You a Divorce

In the event that your spouse is contesting your divorce, what should have been a fairly simple process will now become far more complicated. When spouses are able to agree to divorce, a PA divorce decree can be issued in as few as sixty days in some cases. 

But in a contested divorce, you will need to prove to the judge that you are no longer able to remain married by being separated from your spouse for two years before a divorce will be granted. This greatly extends the typical divorce timeline. In some cases, divorce mediation may also be called for, which can also draw out the process but may make your divorce more civil.

Your best option here may be to obtain an attorney who can then ensure that the date you first became separated is recognized legally, as legal separation in and of itself is not recognized in Pennsylvania. Once the two years have passed, you will be able to obtain your divorce regardless of your ex’s desire to remain married. 

Meet with a PA Divorce Lawyer

If you are struggling to convince your spouse to give you a divorce or if you have other divorce-related issues that need to be resolved, contact a qualified PA divorce lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C. You can submit the quick contact form below or give our office a call at 1-844-VARI-LAW (827-4529) to schedule your consultation.