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What If My Spouse Doesn't Want a Divorce?

Posted By Cairns Law Offices || 10-Aug-2015

Relationships can be complicated and just because you want a divorce, it doesn't mean that your husband or wife does too. What happens if you want a divorce, but your spouse says they won't give you one?

To answer this question, first we must look at the grounds for divorce in Pennsylvania, which can be either FAULT or NO-FAULT. For a "fault" divorce, you must be able to prove that you are "innocent and injured," or not at fault, and that your spouse's misconduct was the reason for the breakdown of the marriage.

Examples of allowable grounds for a fault-based divorce include violence, adultery, desertion, bigamy, conviction for a crime, and insanity. On the other hand, a no-fault divorce is based on the premise that a marriage is "irretrievably broken."

So, what if your spouse doesn't want a divorce? If you are asking for a divorce on no-fault grounds, then the only defense that your spouse has is showing that the two of you have not lived separate and apart for two years, or that your marriage is not irretrievably broken.

Are you seeking a fault-based divorce?

If you are seeking a fault-based divorce; for example, you are a victim of domestic violence, your spouse cheated on you, or your spouse was convicted of a crime, then you must be able to prove to the court that you are "innocent and injured" to establish grounds for divorce.

If your spouse can prove that you are not innocent and injured, then he or she may be able to prevent the divorce. They may also try to prove that the facts that you are claiming are false.

If you are concerned that your spouse may try to challenge you or drag out the divorce proceedings, you should discuss your situation with a Pennsylvania divorce attorney from our firm to find out which legal remedies are available and how best to proceed forward.

You have rights, let us help you protect them every step of the way.

To learn more about your rights in a Pennsylvania divorce, contact Cairns Law Offices to discuss your situation for free with an experienced divorce lawyer.