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Your spouse refuses to get divorced. Now what?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2024 | Family Law

You shouldn’t have to stay in a marriage that you feel is beyond saving. However, your spouse may struggle to accept your decision to divorce. This may put you in a tough spot, but you have options. It may take extra steps, but you can independently file for divorce in New Hampshire. Or you can take the time to help your spouse see how a life apart is better for you both.

Filing for divorce as an individual

Even if your spouse is uncooperative, it’s not the end of the road. You can still initiate the divorce yourself after meeting the eligibility requirements in New Hampshire, which are:

·         Both you and your spouse reside in New Hampshire

·         You, the petitioner, have lived in New Hampshire for one year, or

·         You live in New Hampshire and your spouse can be served with divorce papers in New Hampshire

When you file, you must include a valid reason for divorce. In a no-fault divorce, you do not assign fault to anyone but cite irreconcilable differences as grounds instead. However, if your spouse’s misconduct is the reason your marriage is ending, you can pursue a fault-based divorce.

After completing your form, you can mail it or bring it to your local family court. The court will inform you and your spouse that the petition has been filed after a few weeks. If your spouse does not respond within ten days, you must serve them the papers via mail or through a sheriff.

If your spouse still does not engage, the court may consider alternate methods of service or grant a default judgment in your favor.

Give communicating another try

Considering your history, you may not want to blindside your spouse with divorce papers. Perhaps your first approach was too abrupt or confrontational. Try to have another conversation, this time with more understanding. Gently help them see how a divorce can benefit you both.

Do your best to address your spouse’s concerns without being hostile. It can be easier to move forward when there are fewer uncertainties.

Sometimes all a reluctant spouse needs is reassurance, though this may not work for everyone. If you need help navigating a difficult divorce, consider consulting an attorney. With or without your spouse’s agreement, you deserve a chance at a new beginning.

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