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What if my spouse does not want to divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Divorce |

It takes courage to inform your spouse you want to end the marriage. However, what if they disagree? They claim they do not want a divorce, or perhaps even refuse to divorce you.

After building up that courage to take the next step, this response can be stress-inducing. What do you do now? Here are a few things to consider.

3 steps to take if they say “No.”

You may feel stuck if your spouse does not agree to divorce. That is natural. To move things forward, it might help to:

  1. Give them time: If your spouse does not want to divorce, take a step back. In some cases, a spouse might simply need to process the thought of divorce. Pushing the subject could result in even more pushback from your spouse. Giving them time and space to think can sometimes be enough for their answer to change.
  2. Find out why: Why do they wish to avoid a divorce? It could be related to religious or cultural beliefs. They may still have feelings for you, even if you no longer feel the same. Or, in cases involving abusive behavior, they may wish to maintain control and power. Regardless of the reason, finding out why your spouse is so against a divorce can help you determine how you move forward and how you communicate with them.
  3. Prepare yourself: Even if your spouse is against a divorce, you can make sure your affairs are in order. It may help to learn more about the process of ending a marriage and begin separating your finances. It can be easy to lose steam if a spouse pushes back against the idea, so you can also reflect on your own reasons for wanting to divorce.

These three steps can help you find closure and peace in your decision, even if your spouse still rejects the idea. Whether or not you take these steps, it is critical to note that their agreement is not necessarily needed.

Whether they say, “Yes” or “No,” you can move forward with a divorce

It is not a requirement in North Carolina for both parties to agree in order for a divorce to proceed. If you believe that a divorce is the right step for you, your future and your family, then you can move forward even without your spouse’s agreement.

However, in these cases, you should be prepared. A spouse who does not want to divorce in the first place might endeavor to make the proceedings difficult or even delay them. Even so, there are ways you can protect your rights and keep the process moving.