Once you have decided that you are ready for your marriage to be over, you might let out a sigh of relief. But before you become too settled, you should prepare yourself for the possibility that your spouse may not be quite so willing to let the marriage end.
If your spouse is refusing to sign the divorce papers, the finalization of your divorce can take significantly longer. Continue reading to learn more about what steps you should take if your spouse is contesting your impending divorce.
Divorcing a Difficult Spouse
There are many reasons why your spouse may refuse to consent to a divorce. Maybe they are still in love and hoping to make the marriage work, or perhaps they are abusing you and refusing to allow you to live your life, as is your right.
In any case, the Pennsylvania courts do not expect someone to remain in a marriage that they do not want to be in. If your spouse is refusing to sign divorce papers, you need to know that you do have other options available to you.
How to Obtain a Divorce without Your Spouse’s Signature
When filing for divorce, you will more than likely, at first, seek a divorce under no-fault grounds, which essentially just states that your marriage has irretrievably broken down but neither party is to blame for the marriage having ended.
However, if your spouse refuses to consent to a no-fault divorce, your divorce will be considered contested, and you will need to move forward with a fault based divorce. Unfortunately, this means that your divorce will likely take longer to finalize and cost significantly more than your no-fault divorce would have.
But the good news is that in many instances, filing on fault grounds will result in your spouse taking you seriously, at which point the divorce process may go more smoothly and a divorce settlement can be reached. The amount of time it will take to finalize your divorce will largely depend on how cooperative your spouse is throughout the process.
If your spouse is dead set on keeping you legally married for as long as possible, it could be a year or more before your divorce becomes official, as all of the significant points of contention within your divorce settlement will need to be determined by a judge.
But if we can eventually convince your ex to work with you to not only agree to the divorce but work through the division of your marital property and assets and alimony discussions, if applicable, this will save both spouses time and money and allow you to move forward with your life more quickly.
Meet with a PA Divorce Lawyer
If you would like more information on how to overcome a contested divorce, or to enlist the help of a qualified Pennsylvania divorce lawyer at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C., simply give our office a call at 1-844-VARI-LAW (827-4529) or visit our website and schedule your initial consultation with one of our reputable family law attorneys.