How can I get a divorce when my spouse doesn’t want to?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How can I get a divorce when my spouse doesn’t want to?

Things have become very bad between us. I’ve been out of work for a while and cannot afford an attorney. I also do not have a place for my daughter and I to live. I’ve tried leaving before and only returned because I didn’t have anywhere else to stay. He refuses to leave our home. He says he won’t divorce me. Due to this I have become increasingly depressed and suicidal. I don’t know what to do; I cannot live this way.

Asked on September 19, 2017 under Family Law, Georgia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can get a divorce even if your husband doesn't want one. First, you'll need to serve a divorce complaint on him. Once he is so served with it, he will have a period of time in which to "answer" your complaint. If he fails to do so within the required period of time (it depends just what state you are in), you can proceed with what is known as a "default divorce". This is a divorce that is granted in the absence of one of the parties; it is generally granted on the terms requested. Further, you can file for a divorce yourself; there are online for every state and most have reduced filing fees, etc. in a situation such as yours. However, while you can file yourself, since children are involved you really should have legal representation. You can contact Legal Aid and see if you qualify for representation; if not see if they can recommend another organization to help you. Also, you can check to see if there is a law school nearby to where you live as many run free/low cost clinics that handles divorce cases. Finally, you can contact the local bar association in your city/county since most have lists of attorneys who will take these cases "pro bono" (for free) or for reduced fees based on your income.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption