What happens if my spouse doesn’t agree to divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2022 | High Asset Divorce |

The emotional upheaval that surrounds divorce makes this life event one of the most traumatic in people’s lives. Even in relationships that have become profoundly broken and where even daily activities feel forced, couples in Tennessee and elsewhere will continue to live for years in a state of suspended conflict until one spouse finally decides to call it quits.

Being the catalyst for ending a marriage is not an enviable position to be in, however, if the other spouse won’t agree to the split. The tension can turn into active conflict when the reluctant spouse refuses to cooperate during a prolonged divorce procedure. For residents of Murfreesboro and surrounding areas, it can help to discover tips on how to handle such a challenging situation.

Getting around the resistance, or negotiating

Whether or not the other spouse is resistant to divorce, if the other person wants one, there are ways of legally achieving this goal. But getting out of the relationship can take time, so it is better for both sides to communicate their feelings along the way.

For the spouse who wants out, expressing their wishes without allowing their partner to process and respond to this news may cause the rejected spouse to become emotionally unstable, or to even threaten suicide. Spouses who cannot accept the other person’s desire to leave often turn passive-aggressive, refusing to make appointments, for example, or provide important financial documents during the inventorying of marital assets.

No matter how challenging the situation gets, the spouse who wants a divorce must be willing to try different approaches to get what they want:

  • Make a clear decision about divorce, do not threaten, and do not back down.
  • Do not give mixed messages or raise the spouse’s hopes of reconciliation.
  • If the other spouse was not expecting it, be prepared to give an explanation, and be compassionate and calm as they process their feelings.
  • Research divorce options, divorce laws, the emotional issues that arise during divorce, as well as parenting information for couples with children. Examine a non-adversarial process such as mediation that involves a neutral third party who determine the best approach.

Divorce in Tennessee

Tennessee has both fault-based and no-fault divorce options, and the latter possibility is achievable in a separation of two years if there are no minor children. In Tennessee, it does not matter who files for divorce first, as the court will view both parties equally. Regarding the distribution of marital assets and debt, however, the judge will decide based on an equitable, but not necessarily equal, division of property. Fault is not a factor in property division matters.