What if My Spouse Wants a Divorce and I Do Not?
If your spouse has confronted you with a divorce and you desire to remain married you may have options before you to postpone but not completely eliminate the divorce proceedings. In Florida, it is not required for both spouses to consent to a divorce, therefore, even if one spouse is addiment about remaining married the court may still dissolve the marriage. You will still need the assistance of an Orlando Divorce Attorney even if you are wishing to ultimately remain married to your spouse.
If you have been served with divorce papers, but do not wish to get divorced, the common misconception is to simply not respond to the initial petition for divorce. However, this could be a costly mistake. If you do not respond to your spouse’s initial petition within the statutory time of 20 days, the court may enter a default against you. A default allows the court to proceed with the divorce without any notice or input given to you. Therefore, this refusal to respond will result in a divorce and further, your spouse will be in full control of these proceedings with no objection from you.
Instead, if you do not want a divorce from your partner, you may take certain actions to delay the proceedings. After being served with the initial divorce documents, you have 20 days to respond and file a counterclaim. In this counterclaim, if you do not wish to divorce, you must inform the court that you do not believe the marriage is irretrievably broken. Further, you may ask the court to order counseling in order to salvage the marriage. The court has the discretion to order one or both parties “to consult with a marriage counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, minister, priest, rabbi, or any other person deemed qualified by the court and acceptable to the party or parties ordered to seek consultation.” 61.052 During this time, the court will place a hold on the divorce proceedings for a time period not to exceed 3 months, in order for the parties to attempt reconciliation. 61.052
However, marriage counseling will not result in the complete removal on the divorce proceedings. Although, many have found counseling to save their marriage, in order for these steps to be productive, both parties must put in a great deal of effort to make changes and listen to the advice of the counselor. If your spouse still wishes to continue with the divorce after these proactive measures, there is no way for you to halt the legal proceedings. Florida does not require consent from both parties to achieve a dissolution.
After being served with divorce papers, whether you desire the divorce or not, contact an experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney. We will be able to discuss with you the options available to you whether they involve reconciliation with your spouse, or finalizing your divorce. Having an experienced and knowledgeable Orlando Divorce Attorney on your side will make a significant difference during this emotional time.
Speaking to an attorney at our Orlando office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.