You know that you want a divorce. In your mind, the relationship is already over. If you were dating, you’d break up with your spouse immediately. Since you’re married, it’s going to take a bit longer to go through the legal process, but you already know what your goal is.
The trouble is that your spouse does not want to get divorced. When you bring it up, they just ignore you or laugh it off. You’re afraid that they’re never going to sign the paperwork and they’re just going to ignore you at every step in the process, hoping that you give up and decide to stay married.
A default divorce
Naturally, your spouse can ignore your divorce requests. They can ignore the paperwork. They can refuse to sign. They can act like none of this is happening. But don’t think for a second that this means you can’t get divorced. You don’t necessarily need your spouse for that. Whether or not you stay married is not up to them.
There are still important steps that you need to follow, and there are some delays — your spouse deserves a specific amount of time to respond to the divorce papers, for instance, even if you know they’re not going to — but you can get a default judgment in your favor. This is the court’s way of ending your marriage without your spouse’s input. Unlike a contested divorce, which is usually a fight about the specific terms of the marital divide (like how much support a spouse may have to pay or a custody issue), a default judgment is something that can be entered when a spouse simply refuses to respond to the petition for divorce.
Your life is your own
People often talk about feeling “trapped” in a marriage. You don’t have to feel this way. Your decisions are yours alone. Just take the time to look into the legal process carefully.