In a lot of divorces, both spouses recognize that the marriage is coming to an end and then choose what process they will use to come to an agreement, like using mediation or the collaborative process. In other divorces, nevertheless, there hasn’t been a mutual understanding. Whereas one spouse may have been thinking about ending the marriage for months or possibly years, the other apparently has no clue how bad things have become and your spouse doesn’t want the marriage to end.
These situations come up quite often. Suppose it’s the wife that wants the divorce and feels that she has repeatedly tried to get her husband to try and resolve the marriage problems with her. For various reasons, nothing’s changed and the wife is ready to do whatever it takes to get out of the unhappy marriage.
Maybe she was referred to an attorney that represented a colleague in their divorce. And they let her know she can begin a court action, serve the husband with a Summons with Notice in an Action for Divorce following that he has no choice but to address the situation.
That seems like a great to the wife. The wife’s pleas have not helped the situation, perhaps having a process server stroll up to her husband when he is going or coming from home or work and give him a Summons will catch his attention.
All the wife wants is for things to change. She desires to move out of this position of inaction and toward a position where something, anything at all, will move her closer to getting divorced.
The thing she doesn’t understand is that when her husband gets served with the Summons, he is going to feel bombarded, frightened, mad, distrustful and all other kind of other emotions that won’t be effective if the wife is wanting to be divorced as soon as she can.
During the time clients come to me in these situations I never advise that they file for divorce first. That needs to be a last resort. Alternatively, here are three options I will propose first:
- Let me instruct you to having a more productive discussion with your spouse and let him know that you want the marriage to end and the method that you believe would work best. If you aren’t comfortable having this discussion on by yourself, I’ll propose you schedule an appointment both of you to see a couple’s counselor and have the discussion at your appointment.
- When they aren’t open to the concept of divorce, I will send them a letter stating that you have retained an attorney and that you are dedicated to a non-aggressive divorce and to keep it out of court, but that we require their cooperation. I will send your them a link to a website that they can use to find a non-aggressive attorney and request that an attorney gets a hold of with me inside of two weeks.
- When I do not hear from their attorney within that time period, it might be time to file the Summons with the court so we can start the divorce action. In accordance with Arizona law, I have 120 days until we serve them with the Summons so that allows me time to follow-up on my letter 1 to 2 more times to see if we may move things onward.
With my experience with other divorcing couples in these situations, it’s very possible that your spouse will take my letters seriously and start to understand that they need to do something and that being inactive and hoping you’ll change your mind is not an option anymore.
When they realize this, a lot of things may change. They will probably understand that you wanting an amicable divorce is good. They’ll see that you hired an attorney that is devoted to keeping you out of court and ensuring that you both can come to an agreement that will work for each of you and the children now and far into the future. This helps improve trust among you. And they’ll see that their attorneys are just as devoted to doing the identical thing while representing them and that when marriage ends each of you can have a sense of complacency.
Realizing you want to get divorced can be an emotional and overpowering time, particularly if you have not told your spouse yet. If you wish to find how to have that discussion with them and end your marriage in a non-aggressive way without going to court, contact Moshier Law.
Vacca, Andrea. “How to Get Divorced When Your Spouse Doesn’t Want to End the Marriage.” No Court Divorce Blog, 17 Dec. 2019, www.newyorkdivorcelawyerblog.com/how-to-get-divorced-when-your-spouse-doesnt-want-to-end-the-marriage/.
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