What happens if I don’t want a divorce?

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What happens if I don’t want a divorce?

My husband decided before he left for deployment almost a year ago that he wanted a divorce but i did not agree. I wanted to try marriage counseling, individual counseling, all of that. He comes home next month and says he is filing right away. I do not want this divorce, is there anyway to “make” him in a way go to counseling before getting a divorce? I know WA has a 90 day waiting period, can the judge order him to at least try counseling for that time? This fall we will be married 4 years, have never done counseling, nothing. I believe he has PTSD and I think we can save our marriage.

Asked on July 13, 2011 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, there is, unfortunately, no way to force someone to go to counseling, either couples or individual, and there is also no way to stop him from getting a divorce, if--rightfully or wrongfully--that's what he wants. The law does not make people stay in marriages if they don't want to be in them; if one of the couple wants out, he or she can get the divorce regardless of the other one's preferences or wishes. (Otherwise, one member of the couple could *always* hold the other one "hostage," forcing him or her to accede to his or her demands before agreeing to the divorce.) While you can of course talk with him and hope he'll agree to go to counseling or hold off on seeking a divorce, there is no way to make him do this, unfortunately.


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