Why It's Nearly Impossible To Stop A Divorce

Posted on: 29 June 2020


It's not uncommon during a divorce for one party to be a bit more ready to part ways than the other. This can lead to questions about how it might be possible to stop the divorce. The simplest answer is that it is virtually impossible to stop a divorce if at least one partner is just flat-out done with the marriage. It's a fair question to ask why divorce law works this way, so take a look.

Divorce Used to Be Stoppable

Before the era of divorce law reform that started in California in the late 1960s and spread to the rest of the country over the following two decades, there were ways to stop a divorce. There were scenarios, due to the requirement of fault, that could compel two people who mutually wanted to part ways to stay married!

No-Fault Divorce

Although fault-based divorce still exists in most U.S. states, it is a functionally dead institution. Every U.S. state eventually moved to allow some form of no-fault divorce.

In the no-fault system, only one of the two partners has to want the marriage to end. Strictly speaking, they will file a lawsuit, although it's usually not as involved as other forms of suits. All the court will require is a clear statement that the filing partner believes there are "irreconcilable differences" in this marriage. Fundamentally, one party can exit the marriage just because they're bored.

The Court Seldom Cares About Fault

Filing a fault-based divorce is still possible in the majority of states, but it rarely is worth the bother. The main argument for pursuing an at-fault divorce is that you might be able to move the needle a little bit on the division of assets. Most couples, however, don't have enough assets to make this worth the pain.

The only strong argument for pursuing a fault-based divorce is if your ex is hiding extensive financial resources. You may be able to force disclosure of their finances in court.

Otherwise, fault just doesn't matter. The court doesn't care who cheated or lied. Even abuse is considered a separate matter for criminal and family court proceedings.

Delays Are Possible

While you can't stop a divorce, it may be possible to delay it. Some areas require cooling-off periods before divorces are granted, and these can range from a couple of months to nearly two years. After the cooling-off period ends, though, the court is going to grant the divorce.

To learn more about divorce law, contact a lawyer.