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Can your spouse stop you from getting a divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2021 | Divorce |

Some people look at a divorce as a personal failure. Others have religious reasons for wanting to avoid a divorce. It is common for only one spouse to really want a divorce and the other to want to try to work on the marriage.

If you currently feel miserable in your marriage and believe that things won’t get better, divorce may seem like the right stop to take. However, if your spouse has deep-seated objections to divorce, you may worry that they will try to fight you throughout the process.

Can your spouse effectively deny you a divorce and force you to stay married in North Dakota?

How much power your spouse has depends on the kind of divorce you file

It has become the default approach to divorce to file a no-fault divorce. This approach involves one spouse filing a petition with the courts while asserting that there has been an irreparable breakdown of the marital relationship.

Their spouse has an opportunity to respond, and then the courts will move forward either with a litigated divorce or with reviewing and approving a settlement in an uncontested divorce or divorce by default. The spouse who doesn’t file can’t just ignore the paperwork and expect the divorce to go away. If they don’t respond, the courts grant a divorce by default.

If the spouse who files seeks the divorce based on fault, the other spouse can potentially defend against the divorce. North Dakota still allows for fault-based divorces in six situations. You can divorce your spouse because of:

  • adultery
  • willful desertion
  • willful neglect
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • extreme cruelty
  • a felony conviction

The spouse filing based on grounds needs to have evidence to prove their position or they risk the courts denying their request for a divorce.

Your spouse does not have to agree to the divorce for it to happen

You don’t need to convince your spouse that a divorce is appropriate or necessary. You only need the resources and foresight to file a no-fault divorce to start moving on with your life. However much your spouse may resist or resent your dissolution request, ultimately, they cannot deny you a divorce.

Learning the basics of how divorce works in North Dakota can help you plan for a better future.

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