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Can One Spouse Refuse to Agree to the Divorce?  

Rundberg Law, LLC Dec. 26, 2022

Couple having a quarrel.Divorce is never an easy process. In cases where one spouse refuses to agree to the divorce, no matter the reason, this doesn’t necessarily mean the divorce won’t happen; it may just cause it to be longer and more painful for those involved. However, if you or your spouse don’t agree to the divorce, there are options available. As a divorce attorney at Rundberg Law, LLC, I'm poised and ready to help you understand your rights, fight for your needs, and inform you throughout the divorce process.  

Rundberg Law, LLC proudly serves those throughout Kansas and Missouri. From my office in Overland Park, Kansas, I am prepared to work with you in the surrounding areas, including Johnson County and Kansas City. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation directly with me, and I’ll guide you through the divorce process, wherever you are at.  

What if My Partner Doesn’t Agree to the Divorce? 

Whether your state recognizes fault or no-fault divorces, you are still able to get a divorce, but if your partner doesn’t agree, you will need to file for a divorce petition and move forward with the process anyway. Although both states are no-fault divorce states, Kansas and Missouri have differing requirements for divorce if one spouse doesn’t agree.    

In Kansas, divorce can occur due to the following:  

  • Incompatibility 

  • Failure to perform a material marital duty or obligation 

  • Incapability due to mental illness or mental capacity  

In Missouri, a no-fault divorce can occur if both spouses are in agreement or the marriage is considered “irretrievably broken.” If the spouses are not in agreement, a divorce can still occur if the following circumstances have occurred: 

  • Adultery 

  • One spouse was abandoned for six continuous months 

  • The couple has lived apart for at least twelve months, both in agreement of the separation 

  • The couple has lived apart for 24 months straight, but one party wasn’t in agreement with it 

Generally, whether you or your spouse refuses to sign the paper, the other person will push forward towards the divorce anyway. The proper steps to getting a divorce are to contact an attorney, legally serve the documents, go through with the proceedings, and go to court.  

However, if a spouse does not respond to the court at all, they can be held in contempt. If you are a spouse that has been served divorce papers, it’s important that you don’t ignore the court-ordered meetings.  

What Issues May This Cause? 

One of the issues that refusing to agree to a divorce can cause is that it automatically becomes a contested divorce, which in turn can make the divorce process longer, more costly, and more contentious between the couple. Also, if you or your spouse are held in contempt for not showing up to court, you can be fined or even spend time in jail.  

Can My Spouse Refuse to Sign the Divorce Papers? 

If your spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers now, you can keep the process moving forward. Just because they refuse to sign now, it doesn’t mean they’ll never sign. Around 90% of divorces can be finished outside of court, even when many start out contested.  

Discover Your Options Today 

Understanding your options for divorce can be a frustrating process. I’m here to help you navigate the situation with confidence and sound legal advice. Rundberg Law, LLC is prepared to serve the areas surrounding Overland Park, Kansas, including Johnson County, and Kansas City, Missouri. I’m dedicated to those individuals and families in both Kansas and Missouri that need divorce attorneys. Reach out to me today to schedule a free consultation.