Once one spouse in a marriage tells the other that they want a divorce, things can get testy and emotional. Sometimes, only one person wants to end the marriage. In extreme cases, that person might even threaten to not allow the divorce to move ahead.
How credible is the threat to stop the divorce process, though? Here is what a divorce lawyer will have to say.
The Power of No-Fault Divorce
The no-fault divorce system is the de facto law of the land throughout the United States. It is powerful because the no-fault system only asks that one person wants to terminate the marriage. As long as that person sticks to their lawsuit to end the marriage, a court will eventually grant a divorce.
Some states do have fault-based divorce options. However, people rarely use these options. Also, even if you ask a court to find your spouse at fault, that doesn't change the fact that only one of you has to want to end the marriage.
However, the various states have widely differing approaches to how long the divorce process should take. In some states, you can get divorced within days or weeks depending on how busy the local courts are. A few states have processes that go beyond a year. Notably, you should consult with a divorce attorney who has a license in your state so you can get the most spot-on advice about the rules where you live.
Is it possible for your partner to drag things out? Depending on the circumstances and the state, they might have some wiggle room to prolong the process. For example, you legally have to serve them with a lawsuit demanding a divorce. If they can avoid physically taking the documents, they can drag things out for months. However, a divorce lawyer can eventually petition the court to move the case forward in absentia if the other person defies the service of divorce papers.
Military deployment also could buy a stubborn spouse some time to delay a divorce. The court tends to allow time for the service of papers since military members overseas may take months to get their mail. Also, courts are sometimes open to good-faith delays if a person is away on business or currently resides overseas.
A few states also have rules that require counseling. You may have to complete the process before your state will grant a divorce. Once more, though, all the other person can do is drag this out a bit. Eventually, you will have your divorce if you still want it.
Contact a divorce lawyer to learn more.