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Can you get a divorce if your spouse opposes it?

| September 15, 2021 

Divorce is one of the most personal and serious decisions facing couples in Washington. Coming to the decision to get a divorce is a serious step. Sometimes, couples agree to divorce amicably. But more often, it’s a decision made by one partner. Their spouse may not agree to the idea of splitting up. When that happens, there are some key steps to take.

Communication is key

The first thing to do is to be sure about your choice to divorce. Are you certain this is what you want? Are you convinced counseling would be no help? Don’t throw the word divorce around in arguments. Using divorce as a threat and not following through will make your spouse less likely to take the topic seriously when you are serious.

If you’re sure that you want to get a divorce, you need to be clear about that decision with your spouse. It may take them some time to accept that. By holding the line and being steady and clear in your communications, you can help them understand that you’re not going to change your mind.

What if they obstruct the process?

Sometimes, when an individual is truly opposed to getting a divorce, they may not act in good faith. A spouse who feels spurned may go so far as to make threats about their safety or someone else’s. If this happens, it’s important to take this seriously.

If a person is threatening self-harm or harm to you or their children, call 911. They may feel they are losing everything and that can cause serious issues. At other times, the obstruction may be less dramatic. It may be that your ex is dragging their feet and pretending to forget key documents and deadlines.

If you’re the spouse dragging their feet, ask yourself why. It’s difficult to let go of a relationship and a comfortable routine. But will being in a relationship with someone who isn’t interested in you be fulfilling? That’s unlikely. Accepting the inevitable may be the first step to healing.

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