When discussing divorce with your spouse, promises might be made to negotiate all terms and to reach an agreement together. However, when it’s time to put that into action, your spouse might suddenly be uncooperative or they might outright refuse to engage in the process.
This can be incredibly frustrating, but thankfully there are ways to deal with the stalled divorce and methods to move the process forward, even without your spouse’s cooperation.If you’re getting a divorce but don’t know your options or what’s required to put the process in motion, contact Tempe divorce lawyer and mediator Adriana Blanchette of Blanchette Law PLLC. To schedule your consultation, call (602) 881-1748.
Have empathy – Consider why they’re being uncooperativeAlthough you might be emotionally ready for your divorce and the next chapter of your life, even if you haven’t been considering it for long or if your spouse initiated the process, it’s still a difficult and emotional process. Your spouse might not be intentionally uncooperative, but they might feel lost and are afraid of starting over alone. They might be worried about the financial impact and strain of the divorce, they could be worried about how your children will handle it, if they’ll be judged by their friends and family, or they simply don’t know how to process their emotions. Try to remain calm when speaking to them about the divorce and your desire to move forward with the process and be empathetic toward their feelings. It might be helpful to kindly direct them to people or resources who can help them work through and process their emotions in a healthy manner such as a therapist, a member of their church, a support group, or a trusted friend or family member. Your sympathy and support might help them muster the courage to take the next steps in the divorce.
Remember your goalsIt’s easy to be sidetracked by your spouse’s refusal to respond or cooperate with the divorce, so you might need to remind yourself of your goals. These will be specific to your situation and your divorce, but they could include:
- Maintaining civility between you and your spouse
- Reaching an agreement outside the courtroom
- Ensuring your children know both parents love them and the divorce won’t change that
Contested divorce is still an optionEven if you set out on the hopeful path of mediation or a collaborative divorce, those simply aren’t viable options in every situation. If you can’t negotiate an agreement or if your spouse isn’t responding or cooperating with the process, you can still pursue the divorce through the contested divorce process. If you need to proceed with a contested divorce, your attorney will help you file motions and present evidence to the judge so that they can issue orders, eventually issuing permanent orders and your divorce decree. A judge can rule on all issues of your divorce, including:
- Property division
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Payment of attorney’s fees
- Use of or access to property pending the completion of the proceedings