Getting a Divorce Without Your Spouse’s Cooperation

Getting a Divorce Without Your Spouse's Cooperation - Willow Anderson

The pandemic has caused many couples to reevaluate their marriage, and some don’t like what they see. One spouse may realize he or she doesn’t feel fulfilled or supported, whether or not the other spouse agrees with that assessment. Without a commitment from both parties, an unhappy marriage can rarely be salvaged. Divorce may not be a mutual decision, but that doesn’t mean your spouse can prevent you from ending the marriage.

Sometimes a spouse will sign papers even if they don’t want a divorce because they understand there’s nothing else that can be done. But what happens when your spouse absolutely refuses to cooperate with the divorce?

Notifying An Uncooperative Spouse of the Divorce

Relationships are a two-way street.  Both parties have to be willing participants. Your spouse cannot “trap” you in your marriage by not signing divorce papers or showing up in court. You do, however, have to officially notify your spouse if you intend to file for divorce. In some cases, this means hiring a process server to serve your ex with the paperwork for the divorce.  After receiving the paperwork, your spouse only has a small window of time to respond.  If your spouse doesn’t respond, then you may be able to get a default judgment against him or her.

There’s no requirement to give your partner advance notice of your intentions, so you can quietly work with an Edina divorce attorney to create a plan A and a plan B just in case things don’t go smoothly.

Moving Forward – Whether Your Spouse Responds or Not

Once your spouse has properly been served with initial paperwork, he or she must provide a formal legal answer. If you’ve been having problems getting cooperation from the start, then your spouse may try to completely refuse to respond to the petition. In that case, a hearing date will be set.  If your spouse does not show up to the hearing, then your Minnesota divorce lawyer can request a default judgment to make your divorce official.

If your spouse was cooperative but changed his or her mind after responding to the initial petition, you may need to move forward with a contested divorce. This essentially means that you’ll have an in-court divorce where you can both state your case and the judge will decide the final terms of the divorce.

Preparing Documents for Litigation with Minnesota Divorce Lawyers

If your spouse won’t cooperate with mediation, then you may need to prepare for litigation. One major part of litigation is collecting documents to show your financial circumstances; this can prove difficult with an uncooperative person but the legal experts at Willow Anderson Law are skilled at getting what you need.

Your ex may try to prevent you from having access to financial documents pertaining to your marriage and the distribution of assets in your divorce. He or she may even try to make it difficult for you to see your child.  Family law courts in Minnesota have seen these tactics before and have systems in place to stop them. These issues can both be addressed with subpoenas and temporary custody orders. With the help of your Edina MN family law attorney, you can ask for the court’s assistance to ensure everything stays open and honest during the divorce.

Choose an Edina Divorce Law Firm for Litigation

When you’re dealing with an uncooperative spouse, you may need a thoughtful negotiator or an aggressive litigator to ensure your divorce is equitable and low-stress. Edina divorce attorney Willow Anderson knows how important it is to have a knowledgeable and tenacious advocate during this time. Willow is experienced in dealing with narcissists and difficult people.  When mediation won’t work, she won’t shy away from litigation because she knows it could be your best shot at an uncomplicated divorce and the only way for you to move on with your life. Contact Willow promptly to get started dealing with your uncooperative spouse.

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