Coates & Frey, Attorneys at Law, LLLC
Phone: (808) 524-4854

Can your spouse stop your divorce?

You aren't happy in your marriage and want out -- but your spouse is refusing to acknowledge that the relationship is totally over. You've heard horror stories about people stuck in marriages because their spouse wouldn't agree to a divorce and wonder if it could happen to you.

Relax. While your spouse may be able to slow down your divorce, the process will eventually move forward -- with or without your spouse's consent. Your spouse may try to delay the inevitable by:

  • Arguing over the terms of your division of property
  • Fighting over child custody or parenting plans
  • Demanding more spousal support or child support
  • Delaying the division of a family business

Ideally, you will be able to convince your spouse to work with you, not against you, to make better preserve your post-divorce relationship as friends or parents. Ultimately, however, if your attempts to work through the divorce with a mutually acceptable agreement fail, you can move the divorce forward through litigation.

Those horror stories about people stuck in unhappy marriages are a holdover from the past -- before no-fault divorces were available. For a long time, divorce was only possible under specific circumstances and someone had to be "responsible" for the breakup. Under Hawaii's laws today, if you've been living apart from your under an order of separation or for at least two years, you can usually obtain a divorce fairly easily.

Knowing that you can ultimately escape the unhappy relationship you're in may give you the patience to help your spouse adjust to the idea of divorce -- which ultimately will make the process easier on you both.

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