Divorcing A Spouse Who Does Not Want The Divorce - Virtual
Divorce Mediation

Divorcing A Spouse Who Does Not Want The Divorce

How to Handle a Contested Divorce

If you want to end your marriage but your spouse does not agree, you can still get a divorce. However, a contested divorce can be time-consuming and complex. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Trial Needed

  • Draft a Divorce Petition: The first step in a contested divorce is to draft a divorce petition. Each state has specific requirements, but generally, you need to include:
    • Both spouses’ names
    • Marriage date
    • Current residential addresses
    • Children’s names and dates of birth (if applicable)
    • Reasons for divorce, such as irreconcilable differences

2. Prepare Supporting Paperwork

  • Child Custody and Financial Affidavits: If you seek child custody, child support, or alimony, fill out the necessary affidavits. These documents can be obtained from the court clerk’s office.
  • File with the Court Clerk: Submit the completed divorce petition and any supporting affidavits to the court clerk. Make sure to file in the city or county where you reside and pay the required filing fee.

3. Serve the Unwilling Spouse

  • Serve Divorce Papers: Once the documents are filed, serve your spouse with the divorce papers. This can be done by:
    • Law enforcement officer
    • Private process server
    • Registered mail
  • Wait for Response: Your spouse is required to submit a written response stating their objections to the divorce. If they do not respond, you can request a default judgment to proceed with the divorce.

4. Present the Case to the Judge

  • Court Hearing: After receiving responses from both parties, the court clerk will assign a hearing date. Both you and your spouse will present your cases to the judge.
  • Judge’s Ruling: The judge will listen to both sides and then make a ruling on whether to grant the divorce.

Gerald A. Maggio is a trained Orange County divorce mediator who has amicably resolved cases many cases out of court, as well as an experienced divorce and family law attorney. Mr. Maggio founded California Divorce Mediators in 2012 with the belief that although “not every marriage can be saved, every family can” and a mission to save families from the financial and emotional distress associated with traditional divorce litigation. California Divorce Mediators is located in Irvine, California, and serves the Orange County area and other counties in California offering divorce mediation, child custody mediation and mediation of other family law matters.