What happens when I don’t want the divorce?

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What happens when I don’t want the divorce?

My husband and I are getting a contested divorce on grounds of adultery. I’m the one who committed adultery but I really don’t want a divorce. I want to work things out. We haven’t filed yet. Will it be finalized no matter if I agree to it or not?

Asked on June 29, 2016 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In a situation such as this, in most states the spouse who is filing can obtain what is called a "divorce by default". As long as a valid summons and complaint has been filed with the court and the non-filing spouse has been properly served, the petitioner is entitled to a divorce if the non-filing spouse fails to file an answer within the specified timeframe (typically 30-60 days). After that time, they will be deemed to have "defaulted". Accordingly, the filing spouse can appear before the judge who will make their ruling solely on the written/oral testimony submitted. A divorce is then granted generally on the terms that are requested. As this all varies from state-to-state, you should consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area; they can best advse you further.


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