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What Happens If One Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?

February 8, 2022
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Even if one spouse doesn’t want a divorce in Colorado, the other spouse still has the right to seek a divorce and receive a favorable ruling from the courts. If you want to file for divorce over the objections of your spouse, you simply must file the proper paperwork in the proper courthouse to receive the outcome you want.

As long as you meet the requirements to file for divorce in Colorado, your spouse cannot stop the process. Occasionally, the spouse who does not want to divorce can attempt to stall the process or can make the process difficult. However, this will not stop the divorce from happening.

How to Meet Residency Requirements for Divorce in Colorado

If your spouse does not want a divorce to happen in Colorado, they may try to claim that you are not eligible to file divorce in the state. 

You and your Colorado divorce lawyer may need to show the court that you do meet the state’s requirement for filing. This primarily involves having at least one of the two spouses establish residency in Colorado for at least 91 days before filing for divorce. You also must be able to show that the state has jurisdiction over your divorce filing, although this is an easy process as long as you meet the residency requirement.

Even if the spouse who does not want to agree to the divorce tries to thwart you from filing for divorce by claiming you do not have residency in Colorado, you can simply wait to file until you reach the 91-day residency requirement. This effort on the part of your spouse simply delays the inevitable.

How to Serve Your Spouse With Divorce Papers in Colorado

Your divorce attorney can help you with the process of filing the paperwork required for a divorce case. The attorney can help with finding someone to serve your spouse with the divorce papers, too. You should not attempt to file the papers yourself, especially if your spouse is not interested in divorce or if your spouse has a history of violence. 

Some spouses who do not want to divorce may attempt to avoid being served. They may leave town, making it difficult to find them, for example. However, this tactic does not stop the divorce from happening. Instead, it simply delays the process. It certainly is an annoyance when your spouse tries to dodge receiving the divorce papers, but our team can help you work around this issue and still move toward the outcome you are seeking.

How to Serve Your Spouse By Publication

If you cannot locate your spouse, Colorado law provides the option of serving your spouse with divorce papers by publication. This simply means you can publish your intention to divorce your spouse in a local newspaper, and the Colorado courts will treat this the same as if you served your spouse with the papers in the traditional manner. It does not matter if your spouse sees the publication or not. The courts treat the publication as if your spouse should see it.

If you don’t want to publish the divorce in a newspaper, you do have the option of simply waiting until you find your spouse. However, if 120 days pass from the initial time you filed for divorce with the courts, you may have to refile the case and start over. 

In a case where you believe your spouse abandoned you, leaving you with no option for serving your spouse with divorce papers, you almost certainly will need to serve your spouse by publication. Our abandonment divorce attorney can help you with this process.

Why You Should Not Simply Ignore the Divorce Papers

If you are the spouse who does not want to agree to the divorce, but your spouse serves you with divorce papers anyway, ignoring the papers is not a good strategy. Simply hoping that the entire proceeding will go away if you don’t participate will not work.

If you do not participate in the divorce proceedings, your spouse can receive the most favorable outcome. Once your spouse signs the divorce petition, the divorce is going to happen. You cannot stop it. If you refuse to sign the Response to the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and if you do not complete the requested paperwork, the court is going to assume you do not want to contest the divorce. This means the court likely will grant whatever requests your spouse makes regarding division of assets and other aspects of the divorce.

Our Colorado Divorce Attorneys Can Help You With Negotiations

The better option is participating in the divorce proceedings with your attorney. You and your attorney can negotiate with your spouse’s representatives to create an agreement that works for you. Because you cannot stop the divorce, you might as well protect your interests as much as possible.

We understand that going through a divorce can be an intimidating process. It is especially tough if your spouse has legal representation. You may feel like the other lawyers are treating you unfairly or are trying to make the divorce seem like your fault. This feeling may make you choose to simply avoid the divorce negotiations entirely.

However, it may be cheaper in the long run for you to hire our team to represent you. If you do not have representation and are simply ignoring the divorce process, you may end up losing a significant amount of money in the settlement. Our team will work as hard as we can to try to save you time and money by standing up for your rights in the divorce negotiations. 

The Cossitt Law Firm Is Ready to Help With All Aspects of Your Divorce

At The Cossitt Law Firm, we fully understand that going through a divorce is a highly emotional and difficult process. It becomes even more difficult when you would rather try to work on your marriage, but your spouse is set on filing for divorce instead. The best advice we can provide is that you should participate fully in the divorce negotiations and proceedings. Ignoring the process or pretending it is not happening will not help you in the long run. 

For a no-obligation and confidential consultation with our team of divorce lawyers in Fort Collins, call The Cossitt Law Firm at 970-488-1887. We can walk you through the entire divorce process, representing you at every step. If you do not want to file for divorce or if your spouse is resisting your attempt to file for divorce, we are ready to help with advice and guidance. We will always work toward the best possible outcome for you.


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