When your spouse doesn't want a divorce, but you do

If both husband and wife want to get a divorce, then its a no-brainer, you get divorced. But more often than not, one person decides that it is time to end the marrige and their spouse is not in agreement with the idea. As a Chicago area divorce attorney, I see this all the time and my clients ask me whether or not it is necessary that their spouse agree to the divorce. I think that this comes from the line in those old movies and books "I will never give you a divorce!" Under modern laws, often times your spouse won't have a choice in the matter if a divorce is really what you want and are intent on getting. Of course, you still have to have irreconcilable differences and meet a few other legal requirements under Illinois' divorce laws ( known as The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act), but it is not required that your husband or wife also want the divorce. 

Without meaning to give a vague lawyer answer, if your spouse doesn't want the divorce, it will either make your divorce easier, harder, or won't matter. Let me explain. If your spouse denies the reality of what is going on after being served with the divorce and sticks his or her head in the sand and ignores the proceedings for long enough, you may be able to get the divorce by default, quickly and on your own terms. If your spouse is savy enough (or talks to a lawyer); they will know that ignoring the divorce is not the right thing to do and he or she may hire a lawyer but decide to be completely irrational and drag it out needlessly. Usually this hurts them just as much as it does you and is not smart behavior, but when strong emotions are involved, this is what can happen. As to it not mattering, this is the spouse who despite not wanting the divorce, decides to participate in what is going on and sees that it would be pointless to try to make your lives any more difficult than they have to be. 

Many people who are intent on getting divorced end up not filing right away, feeling guilty if their spouse doesn't want it. Usually these are couples who have tried and tried, and it just isn't going to work. Often times these people who don't file for divorce out of guilt or feeling sorry for their spouse (who is probably a "good person") eventually do end up filing because it is the right thing for them to do and the right thing for the couple or the family. At the end of the day, you need to do what you feel in your heart is the right thing for you, even if it means ending a marriage that is not working any more.

If you are considering divorce, contact O'Connor Cadiz law to schedule your confidential consultion. While many lawyers offer a 30 minute free consultation, we do not because divorce and the questions that you have deserve something much more comprehensive, so we allow up to 90 minutes. We are located in Itasca and Schaumburg and look forward to meeting you. Call us at 630 250-8813 to schedule a time to talk. 

Carol O'Connor Cadiz
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Attorney & Owner at O'Connor Cadiz Law: Bankruptcy, Injury, Real Estate & Mediation
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