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Your Options When Your Spouse Refuses to DivorceYou can file for divorce without your spouse’s consent, but your spouse can prolong the process by contesting you. There is little chance that your spouse’s arguments will cause the court to stop your divorce. Illinois courts do not accept a reason for divorce other than irreconcilable differences, which either spouse can independently cite. Unfortunately, your spouse may be reacting emotionally, either not understanding the futility of his or her actions or delaying the divorce to spite you. How you respond to your spouse’s actions depends on how your spouse is being uncooperative.

Not Responding

You must send your spouse a notice of your petition to divorce and the scheduled court hearing as part of the filing process. Once your spouse has received notice, he or she has 30 days to respond by declaring whether he or she will appear in court and contest the divorce. If your spouse does not respond or attend your hearing, you can request a default judgment in favor of your petition to divorce. The court may set another date for the default judgment hearing to give your spouse a chance to respond. If the court issues you a default judgment, your spouse will no longer have a voice in determining your divorce settlement.

Cannot Be Found

A court will not grant a default divorce judgment unless it is satisfied that your spouse is aware of the divorce and the hearings. Your spouse may hide from you in order to avoid receiving notice of your divorce petition. You can still complete your divorce if your spouse is missing, but you must:

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Responding When Divorce Catches You By SurpriseYou must act quickly and pragmatically once you and your spouse have decided to divorce each other. People who delay finding a divorce attorney and gathering information are put at a disadvantage when they must make important decisions. However, you may have a more difficult time overcoming your initial emotions if the divorce came as a surprise to you. You may initially react with anger towards your spouse or by fighting to save your marriage. Unfortunately, you cannot afford to avoid the practical concerns of your pending divorce.

Caught Off Guard

A spouse goes through an internal struggle before working up the nerve to say that he or she wants a divorce. The spouse concluded that:

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