Do Both Spouses have to agree to the divorce in order to get divorced?

Our team of expert attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn can guide you through your divorce process. 

New York is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means that one spouse can file for divorce without the consent or agreement of the other spouse. In the past, divorce in New York required fault-based grounds, but since 2010, the state has allowed for “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” as a grounds for a no-fault divorce. Therefore, neither spouse is required to prove any wrongdoing or fault to initiate the divorce process. 


Proceeding With The Divorce Process in New York When One Spouse Disagrees 

Since New York is a no-fault divorce state, one spouse’s desire to end the marriage is sufficient grounds to proceed with the divorce proceedings. If your spouse contests the divorce, it means they are objecting to the divorce proceedings. This may lead to a more complex and prolonged legal process. However, it’s important to remember that even if your spouse contests the divorce, you can still proceed with the process by providing evidence that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. 

Your divorce becomes contested even if your spouse consents to a divorce.  If you and your spouse are not in agreement with how your marital estate is divided, the amount of child support or maintenance, or expert fees, then the issues are contested.  Many people agree to get divorced, however, when two parties do not agree on all of the ancillary relief, the divorce automatically becomes contested.

Having a skilled divorce lawyer in New York can be crucial in presenting your case effectively and navigating any obstacles that arise.  

Dealing With An Unknown Location of A Spouse 

if your spouse cannot be located or is missing, you may need to make reasonable efforts to locate your spouse and serve them divorce papers. If all attempts to locate them fail, you may proceed with a “divorce by publication,” where a notice of the divorce is published in a local newspaper for a specified period. Your New York divorce attorney can guide you through the process and ensure that all legal requirements are met. The party who does not initiate the divorce must be served directly with papers or the divorce by publication guidelines must be met in order to continue with a divorce when a spouse’s location is unknown. 

Will We Need To Go To Court If One Spouse Disagrees With Divorce? 

It is possible to avoid a contentious court battle even if both spouses disagree on various aspects of the divorce. Mediation and collaborative divorce are alternative dispute resolution methods that encourage open communication and cooperation between the parties when they are able to come to terms and agree without court interference. This may not work in your circumstances if your spouse is being difficult. Through these methods, both spouses can work together with the help of trained professionals to reach mutually agreeable solutions on issues like child custody, support, and property division. If one spouse disagrees with the divorce and will continue to do so, it may not be possible to keep your divorce out of the court. 

Working With A New York Divorce Lawyer 

While you have the right to represent yourself in a divorce case, it is not advisable, especially when there are disagreements between you and your spouse. A skilled divorce attorney can protect your rights, advocate for your best interests, and navigate the legal complexities to ensure a fair resolution. It’s essential to have professional legal guidance to achieve the best possible outcome in your divorce case, especially when one spouse disagrees with divorce in the first place. 

If you need a qualified New York divorce and family law attorney at any stage in your divorce, reach out to Brian D. Perskin & Associates at 1-800-DIVORCE. 

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