Can I get a divorce even if my spouse doesn’t want one?

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Can I get a divorce even if my spouse doesn’t want one?

I have filed for a divorce. My husband is currently incarcerated. I had him served and he sent a response asking that the court not take the marriage lightly as it was a vow before God and is asking for mediation to work the marriage out. I just want out. He was on drugs stealing from me and renting our vehicle, pawning and trading our valuables for drugs. He was also abusive and I had to call the police on him several times.

Asked on January 27, 2018 under Family Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can get a divorce even if your spouse does not want one: the law does not let someone trap you in marriage when you want out of it and gives you the right to divorce regardless of the other spouse's feelings; and under the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the courts cannot deny your rights because of someone's (e.g. your husband's) religous beliefs or opinions. Drug abuse, stealing from you, and abusing you are all grounds for divorce in your state (and every state with which I am familiar); living apart for a year (such as while he is incarcerated) with an intention to divorce also supports getting a divorce.


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