I do not want a divorce. How can I stop a divorce from happening?

It goes without saying a divorce is one of the most gut wrenching events a person can goes through.  The divorce process for a spouse who does not want a divorce or who may want to try counseling is even more horrible.  It can feel like the divorce takes on a life of its own outside any control.

A person seeking a divorce has to state in the paperwork starting a divorce there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” meaning the marriage cannot be saved.  What can that spouse who feels differently do?  Unfortunately, unless the spouse initiating the divorce changes his or her mind the divorce will happen.  Judges cannot and will not consider why a divorce is happening or the attempts one spouse wants to take to fix it.

The spouse not wanting the divorce can try to assert there has not been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage”.  However, if the spouse who wants the divorce continues with wanting it a judge is not going to keep the marriage intact.  Minnesota law does not force one person who wants out of the marriage to stay in it.

This understandably can be a very harsh result.  A spouse not wanting a divorce may be tempted to settle in a way that is less advantageous.  He or she wants to try to stay in the other spouse’s good graces in the hope “going with the flow” may lead to reconciliation.  Spouses who do not want a divorce are often in an emotional state where they should consider talking with a family law attorney about how to best proceed at this life changing point to get the best settlement possible.

Jessica Sterle

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