Family Law: Do Both Parties Have To Agree to a Divorce?

Marriage cannot exist if there aren’t two people ready to commit. Meanwhile, for divorce, there can be only one partner willing to terminate the relationship. This means that the reluctance of your spouse to cooperate in terms of divorce shouldn’t keep you from finalizing your marriage if you really need and wish it.

If you are the only one aiming at divorce in your family, you have to explore all possible means, including online divorce service, local attorney’s assistance, divorce law regulations, and so on, to change your life for the better by managing a divorce successfully.

Check out the following advice and get divorced even if your partner is not willing to cooperate.

Default Process

If your partner doesn’t want a divorce from the very beginning, you still have to start with the standard procedure to terminate your marriage by default.

‘My clients often ask me, ‘Do both parties have to agree to a divorce?’. I always advise them to file for the process as if their partner has nothing against it and then the law will help them to finalize their marriage even without their partner involved’, shares a divorce consultant in California, Nina Hodges.

So, cover the following steps to end up your marriage in case your spouse doesn’t agree to divorce.

Filing for Divorce

In order to initiate the divorce process, you need to file a divorce petition. In many states, you can get and fill out the forms online, while in others, you have to hand the completed forms personally to the local clerk’s office.

In the divorce petition, you should include your personal data. You will also describe your wishes and visions on custody, assets division, debts allocation, and other marriage and divorce-related issues.

Serving Your Spouse

After you file for divorce, it is time to announce your intentions officially to your partner. This means you should serve your spouse with similar forms you have handed to the clerk’s office. You can ask any third person to serve your soon-to-be-ex or collaborate with a private server or sheriff. You can also opt for serving by mail.

Anyway, your partner will receive the papers and have to sign them in response. With the reluctant-to-divorce partners, people wonder, ‘Do you have to sign divorce papers?’ The point is that once your spouse is served, no matter whether they sign the docs or refuse to, this won’t stop the divorce process.

Proceeding with No Response

Once you have made all the possible attempts to serve your spouse and succeeded, you don’t need to bother, ‘What if spouse refuses to sign divorce papers!’ You hold no responsibility for your spouse’s reaction. They are given 30 days to respond to the service. If no response is provided, the case proceeds without their participation.

Finalizing the Marriage

Then the hearing is appointed. Even if there will be you only to come to the court, your proposals as to marriage termination and divorce conditions will be taken into account, compared with the local law, and decided respectively. If your spouse doesn’t emerge, they can even be penalized and lose the privileges in divorce outcomes. Anyway, the divorce process will be finished without your partner’s active participation and for your comfort and benefit.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is the best suitable option to end up your marriage, and many couples understand it. This choice will save you time, money, effort and allow you to regulate your post-divorce life independently. But it sometimes happens that your spouse quits the process one step from the end of the divorce process. Here are what you should expect in similar situations.


Within an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will cooperate to make mutually beneficial decisions. Your task is to come to an agreement with all the marriage and divorce-related issues, including custody, visitation, assets and debts separation, and more. You will note down your decisions in the official forms and hand them to the local clerk’s office for approving and signing divorce papers.

Proceeding with No Participation

Yet, sometimes it happens that all the agreements are made in the process of uncontested divorce, but before the last steps, your spouse won’t sign divorce papers [https://onlinedivorcer.com/blog/spouse-refuses-to-sign-divorce-papers-what-to-do-about-it]. You shouldn’t worry about similar situations. The process will go on even without your partner’s participation.

Finalizing the Marriage

Once you have the divorce settlement agreement ready but your spouse is against handing the docs for the court approval or drags the process, you can act on your own. Pass the papers to the court so that the hearing can be appointed. If your spouse doesn’t come, you will have more privileges in the outcomes, and your marriage will be finalized beneficially for you. The proposals from your divorce settlement agreement will be approved if they comply with the local regulations.

If you cannot start the divorce procedure due to one thought haunting you, ‘Do both parties have to agree to a divorce?’, relax and put effort to end up your marriage without your spouse. As a result, you will only get more privileges and get a divorce with beneficial conditions for you and your family.


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