What Should I Do if My Spouse Does Not Want a Divorce?

March 6, 2023
Media Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Clients in a Wide Range of Family Law Matters.

When it comes to divorce, it is not uncommon for one spouse to be reluctant. If your spouse denies your separation or contests the divorce, you have a few options. Pennsylvania allows for no-fault and fault divorces. If both spouses agree the marriage is over and it is best to part ways, they can file for a no-fault divorce.

There are two types of no-fault divorces. First, there is a no-fault divorce based on the mutual consent of both parties. For this type, both parties agree to a 90-day waiting period to confirm they want a divorce. Some couples use this time to see a marriage counselor and work on their issues. Other couples are past the point of reconciliation and wait the 90 days. Both parties are required to file affidavits agreeing to divorce for a no-fault mutual consent divorce in this case.

The other type of no-fault divorce occurs when the marriage is deemed to be “irretrievably broken” by either spouse. In this scenario, the couple must have lived apart for at least a year but there is no 90-day waiting period. Only one party is required to file for divorce in this case. If the other spouse does not deny the separation or the claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the divorce can proceed smoothly.

No-fault divorces are less complex, less time-consuming, and often less stressful. Unfortunately, they are not the reality for many married people in Pennsylvania. What happens if you have not been separated for a year and your spouse wants to stay married? Then, the divorce becomes “contested” and more complicated.

You have the option to file for a fault divorce if you can prove there is a justified reason for doing so. Grounds for a fault divorce in Pennsylvania include:

  • Bigamy.
  • Adultery.
  • Desertion.
  • Cruel or barbarous treatment.
  • Intolerable or burdensome conditions.
  • A spouse serves jail time for two or more years.
  • A spouse is institutionalized for mental health reasons.

A fault divorce requires extensive evidence to prove these claims against a spouse. Fault divorce takes longer and requires the representation of a skilled lawyer. Your lawyer’s job is to prove fault exists so the divorce can move ahead. For some couples, filing for a fault divorce is enough to show they are serious and convince a spouse to cooperate for the benefit of everyone.

Media Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Represent Clients in a Wide Range of Family Law Matters

If your spouse is stalling your divorce, do not be discouraged. Our Media divorce lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. are in your corner. We have experience in resolving high-conflict divorces. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to make an appointment. We are located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.