What to do if your spouse wants a divorce but you don’t?

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What to do if your spouse wants a divorce but you don’t?

My husband wants a divorce.

Asked on December 29, 2016 under Family Law, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

 I'm afraid that there's really nothing that you can do. Your husband doesn't need your cooperation to obtain a divorce. As long as he notifies follows the court's rules, he can get a final divorce decree in court. So what he must do is to first file a "petition" which contains information about him, you, minor children, if any, and the reason for the divorce, disclosure of marital debts/assets, etc. Once he files the petition, he must notify you by sending you a court-approved notice form and a copy of the petition. The notice form tells you how long you have to respond to the divorce papers. If you are actively avoiding receiving this notice, the judge can allow him to publish notice of the divorce in a newspaper in your county. This notice is considered sufficient in such cases after the notice has run for the number of days the court requires, your spouse can proceed with the divorce without your participation. If you don't respond to the papers once you've received notice, your spouse can then ask the judge to give him a final hearing on the divorce, at which time the court can award him a divorce judgment by "default", since you were summoned to court but failed to respond. At this point the judge can award the divorce based on the facts shown in your husband's petition, which means that he'll get the divorce on his terms, even if you don't agree with everything he stated on the petition.

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that there's really nothing that you can do. Your husband doesn't need your cooperation to obtain a divorce. As long as he notifies follows the court's rules, he can get a final divorce decree in court. So what he must do is to first file a "petition" which contains information about him, you, minor children, if any, and the reason for the divorce, disclosure of marital debts/assets, etc. Once he files the petition, he must notify you by sending you a court-approved notice form and a copy of the petition. The notice form tells you how long you have to respond to the divorce papers. If you are actively avoiding receiving this notice, the judge can allow him to publish notice of the divorce in a newspaper in your county. This notice is considered sufficient in such cases after the notice has run for the number of days the court requires, your spouse can proceed with the divorce without your participation. If you don't respond to the papers once you've received notice, your spouse can then ask the judge to give him a final hearing on the divorce, at which time the court can award him a divorce judgment by "default", since you were summoned to court but failed to respond. At this point the judge can award the divorce based on the facts shown in your husband's petition, which means that he'll get the divorce on his terms, even if you don't agree with everything he stated on the petition.


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