What happens if my spouse does not want a divorce?

Divorce in California may be slightly higher than the national average of 50% for first marriages. However, sometimes you may want the divorce, but your spouse still wants to remain in the legal relationship. The state is a “no fault” state meaning either you or your spouse can file for divorce without any serious cause.

The California Courts list out the basics of divorce. You can end your marriage through an annulment under certain conditions, traditional divorce or legal separation. Even if your spouse “does not want to get a divorce, cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case.” This means also that you cannot stop the process should you not want the divorce, but they do.

The courts recommend planning ahead of time by speaking to an attorney and gathering your necessary documents. This process can help you save money and time during the proceedings. Do not expect to receive preferential treatment merely because you filed first. The court maintains a neutral position in your divorce.

Domestic partnerships work a little differently because the federal government does not recognize them. If you move out of state, the state you move into may not recognize the dissolution of your domestic partnership if they don’t recognize the validity of the initial marriage.

During your meeting with your attorney, it is important to ask about the legal ramifications of dissolving a domestic partnership. Also, include questions regarding the division of assets, any children within the marriage and spousal support. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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