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What Happens When You Want A Legal Separation Or Divorce, But Your Partner Doesn’t?

What Happens When You Want A Legal Separation Or Divorce, But Your Partner Doesn’t?

Going through a divorce or legal separation can be an emotionally difficult process. Some divorces are much more challenging and emotional than others, especially when one spouse does not want the divorce or separation. If you are filing for a divorce or separation in California that your spouse does not want, the process may be a little more complicated, but you do not have to stay in your marriage. No one, not even your spouse, can force you to stay married against your will.

Attorney Bruce A. Mandel represents clients in divorce, separation, and other family law cases. He understands that every family matter comes with a unique set of circumstances, and he advocates for his clients’ best interests. When his clients want a divorce in California, they get a divorce, even when spouses refuse to cooperate.

The Divorce Process In California

In typical divorce cases, one spouse will file a petition for divorce, and the other spouse will respond. If a couple agrees on divorce terms, such as property division, alimony, child support, and custody matters, there will only be some procedural steps and filings necessary to conclude the divorce proceedings. If the responding spouse does not agree to the divorce terms in the petition, he or she files a response to contest the proposed terms of the divorce, and the court will decide the contested issues.

Legal Separation In California

Legal separation in California is similar to divorce because the same issues must be determined, including child support, child custody, and property division. The difference is that couples are still legally married even if they are separated, and they still have to go through the divorce process if they decide to end the marriage. Couples choose legal separation instead of divorce for several reasons. Sometimes couples separate thinking that they may be able to reconcile eventually. Other times they stay married for tax or health insurance benefits.

When Your Partner Does Not Respond To The Divorce Or Separation Filings

If your partner fails to respond to your petition for divorce or legal separation, the court may grant a default divorce or separation. When a spouse does not respond to the petition, the court will typically order the terms that were set forth in the petition. This can be an advantage for you if you are the petitioner, and your spouse does not respond because the court will probably agree to the terms in your petition.

When Your Partner Contests The Divorce Or Legal Separation

As mentioned above, if your partner responds to your divorce petition and disagrees with the terms of your petition, the divorce is considered a contested divorce. Contested divorces take longer to finalize, but there is nothing your spouse can do to force you to stay in your marriage. Once the court has decided your divorce terms and appropriate filings have been made, your divorce will be granted.

Under California law, a legal separation will only be granted when both spouses agree to the separation or if your spouse fails to respond to your petition for legal separation. If your spouse contests the legal separation, the court will not grant your petition. In this case, legal separation is not an option, and you will need to go through the divorce process instead.

Completing The Legal Process

As mentioned above, a contested legal process will take longer, but eventually, you will be able to secure a divorce. If your spouse contests the process, there will be more filings required, and you will have to wait until you and your spouse either come to an agreement or until your case is heard at trial.

When the process is uncontested because you and your spouse agreed to the terms or because your spouse did not respond to your petition, you will still have final filing requirements to ask the court to grant your separation or divorce. After receiving your final filings, the court will enter an order for divorce or separation.

California Divorce And Legal Separation Attorney

If you are thinking about filing for divorce or separation in California, a family law attorney will help answer your questions and make sure that your legal rights are protected. Attorney Bruce A. Mandel has represented clients in separation, divorce, and other family law matters for more than 30 years. He provides his clients with high-quality legal representation and always puts their interests first.

Contact the Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel at 424-250-9130 or online to schedule an initial consultation. Follow our Facebook page to learn more about our law firm, the types of cases we handle, and updates on California family law.