In a "no-fault" divorce state, there is nothing your spouse can do to legally stop a divorce. You can file for and obtain a divorce decree from the court. Your spouse can make the process difficult for you, but they can't stop it.
However, a spouse can potentially stop or delay a "fault" divorce by:
Even so, a judge will likely eventually grant a fault divorce. It is generally accepted that it is not a good policy to force a spouse to stay married when they want out of the marriage.
Note: If your spouse is harassing you or making threats about you filing for divorce, keep a record of them and share them with your divorce attorney right away.
A marriage can fall apart for many reasons. Though it depends on specific state laws, the most common fault grounds include:
The reasons for seeking a fault divorce vary. It can scale from seeking revenge on a spouse, hoping to stop the divorce, or simply seeking convenience. Fault divorces happen faster because there is no required separation time before filing. Another reason for a fault-based divorce is that one spouse might be hoping to get more money and property by proving the other spouse is at fault.
Your attorney can help you consider the motives for a fault divorce and how to handle the case accordingly.
The defenses associated with fault divorces are complicated. Since laws vary by state, your spouse might evaluate the state laws that are more "friendly" to their situation.
Not all states allow all defenses, but the most common fault divorce defenses are:
If both spouses point fingers at each other, the courts will determine which spouse is less at fault. These defenses are the most common but are not commonly used. Fault cases involve gathering evidence, witnesses, time, money, and a lot of effort to prove one side of the story. In the end, a judge will likely still grant a divorce.
A spouse can try many things to stop a divorce. In the end, it will likely cost them time and money, and you will still end up with a divorce.
These factors can be scary to hear, especially when they are a threat. The following issues can complicate matters and slow down the process, but ultimately won't stop a "fault" divorce from progressing:
Your divorce lawyer is a key person to keep the divorce progressing despite a spouse's attempts to delay the process or sabotage it. If needed, your attorney can often handle all communications to remove contact between spouses.
Note: To file for divorce in a particular state, the petitioner must meet that state's filing and residency requirements. It is essential to consult with an attorney if you have any questions about your state's divorce laws. Your case may become more complicated if you do not live in the same state as your spouse.