Can a party contest a divorce?

Contested DivorceThere are times where one party wants a divorce and the other does not.  With the advent of no fault divorce, many believe that if one party wants a divorce, there is nothing the other party can do if they do not want it.

Practically speaking, this is not accurate.  In each state, the exact language may vary.  However, generally speaking, a party seeking to get divorced has to prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that there is no reasonable likelihood that it can be saved.  Certainly, in many cases, both parties stipulate to this and the divorce proceeds in an uncontested basis.

One party, however, may choose to contest that allegation if they do not believe that there is no hope.  They may be able to argue that while the marriage is broken in many ways, it is not irretrievably broken.   Or, they may be able to argue that there is a reasonable likelihood that it can be saved.

Realistically, if one party wants the divorce and the other does not, a person contesting a divorce may face an uphill climb.  They will need to show the reasons why they believe the marriage is not irretrievably broken and can be saved.  The more facts they can point to in order to make this argument, the better their chances would be in contesting the divorce.

In many cases, this might require showing that the parties are still acting as a married couple.  This might mean showing that they are still in engaging in marital relations.  Or, they may need to show that counseling might work and that they still behave as husband and wife.

Candidly, this is not easy to show in many instances.  In many cases, one party wants the divorce, and while the other does not, they cannot show that the marriage is savable based on the facts.  Regardless, a party may opt to contest the divorce in the hopes that their spouse will agree to counseling and/or mediation to see if they can save their marriage.

Ultimately, in these cases where one party contests, the court will have to make a determination about whether the marriage is irretrievably broken or not.  In most situations, it is not easy contesting a divorce.  But there are some cases where the judge may believe that there is a reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be saved.  So, it’s important to discuss your options with an attorney if you are interesting in trying to save your marriage.

If you are going through a divorce, Stange Law Firm, PC can help.  You can reach us at 1-855-805-0595.

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