What Happens if Somebody Refuses a Divorce
The decision to end a marriage isn’t an easy one. Coming to an agreement to end the marriage can be even harder. There is a notion that if one party refuses a divorce, it can be stopped. This can create a tense, frustrating environment. However, in Florida, this can’t happen. A spouse who doesn’t want to end the marriage can’t stop the process themselves. Instead, this may accomplish making the divorce take longer and cost more.
As this can introduce some complications, we’d like to walk you through what the process will look like. Of course, you can visit our website to learn more about divorce, too.
Are Single Party Divorces Different?
When somebody involved in a divorce disagrees with the terms of an uncontested divorce, it becomes a contested divorce. The process changes a bit. If you are filing for divorce, but your spouse doesn’t want to cooperate, you must serve them with papers. A sheriff’s deputy will perform this duty, documenting the date the divorce began. If 20 days pass without a reply, you may get a default judgment.
Generally speaking, there are two grounds for divorce filings. The most common is that the marriage suffers irreconcilable differences. It may also be that one spouse has become mentally incapacitated. There is no requirement to prove fault or responsibility. If these conditions are present, then a spouse may file for divorce.
Is There Any Way to Stop a Contested Party Divorce?
Short of reconciling with your partner, probably not. That said, you may be able to file a counterclaim. If you do this, you may be able to propose marriage counseling as a condition of the divorce proceedings. This may be able to stop the divorce if counseling goes well, but if nothing else, it can delay the process and give you time to adjust and prepare. This is especially important if you have children to think about.
The most important thing to do is participate in the process. If you try to delay the divorce by not signing paperwork or communicating, then a default ruling can follow… Which can have severe consequences for your custody rights or assets. It is just as important not to sign an uncontested divorce petition if you don’t agree to the terms.
What Happens in a Divorce?
In the State of Florida, the State will always consider the best interests of children first. After this, you and your spouse can discuss the terms of your divorce. If you agree, the process is much simpler. If you don’t, the process continues and may involve mediation. Mediation is often seen as the “last chance” to reach an agreement – Whether on terms or the divorce itself. After this, your divorce goes before a judge, who makes the final ruling. At that point, it is mostly out of your hands.
Even though you may not want to deal with this reality, it is important to address what’s happening. Without doing so, the consequences and the divorce may be a lot uglier than they would be otherwise. Don’t let yourself be bullied, though. It is essential that you get legal representation as soon as the divorce process begins. At Thompson Law, we know the process from top to bottom. We’ll help you through this difficult time. We can help give you the time you need to adjust, breathe, and cope. Call us today if you need advice about your Florida divorce.