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Your Options When Your Spouse Refuses to Divorce

 Posted on October 03, 2018 in Divorce

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:

  • Show that you made a reasonable effort to serve notice to your spouse at his or her last-known residence and place of work;
  • Talk to people who may know your spouse’s whereabouts; and
  • Have a notice of your divorce summons published in a publication that is distributed in the area of your spouse’s last-known residence.

Contesting Divorce

Your spouse must prove why your divorce should be denied if he or she appears in court and contests the divorce. The process may take longer because the court is giving your spouse a chance to state his or her arguments. Your strategy should not change because you have little to prove and your spouse has a heavy burden.

Negotiation Process

You are likely in store for a contentious divorce negotiation if your spouse fights you from the beginning of the process. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can lead you through difficult negotiations. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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