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Can a Spouse Refuse a Divorce?

Contact a Hunterdon County Divorce Lawyer at Tune Law Group, LLC if Your Spouse Is Refusing to Divorce

In the best-case scenario, you and your spouse reached an agreement and proceeded to an uncontested divorce under New Jersey law. However, spouses often do not agree to the terms of the divorce. Your spouse does not have the legal right to refuse a divorce. You always have access to the court system, where a judge will decide the outcome of your case if necessary.

Legally, you always have a right to divorce under New Jersey law. However, before the divorce can be finalized, you and your spouse must agree to terms on the key issues. Ideally, you would reach a settlement agreement that resolves issues such as spousal support, custody, division of marital property, and child support. These agreements often come after extensive negotiations between the two spouses. In some cases, the two spouses cannot agree on the terms of divorce. Then, they may end up in litigation, where a judge would decide the case.

No-Fault Divorce in New Jersey

New Jersey is a no-fault divorce state. You can be divorced if there are grounds. One ground for divorce in New Jersey is irreconcilable differences between the spouses that have persisted for a minimum of six months. You can also obtain a divorce if you and your spouse have lived separately for at least 18 months.

Your spouse can say no if they do not agree with the divorce terms. There is no such thing as imposing any terms on the other party. You can only reach an agreement after negotiation. Ideally, this negotiation would occur through your attorneys. If you try to negotiate directly with the other spouse, you increase the chances of conflict, and your case may go to trial.

Once you have reached a divorce agreement, one spouse would file for divorce with the court. The other spouse would not oppose it. The judge would then review the proposed marital settlement agreement and enter it as a court order when they grant the divorce.

Spouses Should Participate in the Divorce Process

If your spouse refuses to participate in the process, the court will decide to end the marriage. If the other spouse does not show up in court, you may even obtain a default divorce order, where they would lose the right to object to the terms you want. It is in their interest to participate, and the other spouse can harm themselves irreparably if they refuse to acknowledge that divorce. At the same time, if they disagree with what you want, they have the right to present their case in court for the judge to decide.

If possible, you should avoid this scenario, but you cannot control what the other spouse does. Some spouses, whether because of hurt feelings or inflexibility, will simply not negotiate with the other spouse or do it in good faith. Then, your attorney may need to take your case to court.

Contact a Hunterdon County Divorce Lawyer at Tune Law Group, LLC if Your Spouse Is Refusing to Divorce

To learn more about your legal options when you want to end your marriage, contact a Hunterdon County divorce lawyer at Tune Law Group, LLC. Our attorneys will take the time to listen to you and learn what is important before they give you any legal advice. To schedule a free consultation, call 908-434-1061 or contact us online. Located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, we work with clients in and around Hunterdon County, Monmouth County, Whitehouse, and Tewksbury.

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