I want to get divorced but my spouse does not want to? What can I do?

Talaiya Safdar, Esq.

People arrive at the decision to end a marriage in different ways. For some the answer is as clear as the sky on a sunny day but for some it can be like trying to find your way in the black of night. Because the decision is overwrought with emotion and tension both parties may not reach the decision at the same time. But you know you want a divorce and you have made the wise choice of wanting divorce mediation to save time, money and make the process easier on you both and your family. But your spouse isn’t having it. They don’t want to get divorced. They don’t want mediation. They won’t even talk to the mediator to learn about the process.

So what happens then? What happens if you want a divorce and your spouse does not? What can you do?

Your emotions are running high. You’re annoyed and you just want to get this over with. You think, “I know, I will just file for a divorce.”

File for a Divorce.

The truth this is that you don’t need your spouse’s permission to get a divorce. You have every right to hire an attorney and file a summons and complaint in court. Or you can even do the paperwork yourself, even though it is not recommended. In New York, the Supreme Court handles divorce cases. The divorce paperwork should be filed in the Supreme Court in the county where the spouses live.

To begin an action for divorce, the plaintiff must file a “Summons” or a “Summons with a Complaint:” legal documents, which notify the defendant an action for divorce has been initiated. A “Complaint” is a legal document that details the specific reason(s) for the divorce.

If a summons is served without a complaint, the defendant has 20 days to serve a “Notice of Appearance” on the plaintiff, which notifies the court of the defendant’s participation in the court process. Once the defendant appears in court, the plaintiff has 20 days to serve the defendant with the complaint.

If the summons is filed with the complaint, the defendant has 20 days to answer the complaint.

In this situation you have begun the formal proceedings of divorce without your spouse’s permission. How do you think you spouse will react to the divorce being thrust upon them? How would you react? Do you think they would be more open to mediation? Or do you think that they would might get resentful and hire an attorney and suddenly you may find yourself battling in courts, spending thousands of dollars, drowning in stress and anxiety, lose control of the terms of the divorce – doing exactly what you did not want to do.

Or was this the last straw- the only way to get your spouse to pay attention to what you were saying? Were you left no choice but to go this route but now that you’re here you want to pull back and enter mediation? Can you still do that? Or have you dialed up the level of conflict already?

Divorce Therapy.

A seasoned divorce coach can work hand in hand with an Attorney Mediator to help dial down the emotional volume and bring both parties closer towards an agreement to mediate.

There is always a path to mediation and away from conflict. Contact Talaiya Safdar today to find your path.

Call Talaiya Safdar, Esq. of Safdar Law & Mediation Group, P.C. now for a free initial consultation to see how mediation can make your divorce as painless as possible.

(212) 324 – 3745      www.mediatetopeace.com

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