Can I Refuse to Grant My Spouse a Divorce?


Unfortunately, divorce laws in Pasadena do not make allowances for cases in which only one spouse wants to end the marriage. If your spouse wants a divorce and you do not, you won't be able to legally prevent the split.

California is a purely no-fault divorce state. This means that you can't file for divorce on the grounds that your spouse did something to cause the breakdown of the marriage. The reason for your divorce is simply listed as irreconcilable differences.

Because California is a no-fault divorce state, you can't stop your spouse from being granted a divorce because you want to stay married. You could hypothetically delay the proceedings by arguing over issues such as child custody, the payment of spousal support, or the division of marital property, but this would be very expensive and would likely only make your spouse more determined to go through with the split.

Before no-fault divorce laws became popular, you could prevent a divorce by arguing that the grounds your spouse gave for the split were inaccurate. For example, if you had an affair but your spouse knew about it and did not object to the relationship, you could use condonation (your spouse's approval of the activities) as a defense to a fault divorce. If your spouse put you in circumstances where it was likely you'd have an affair, such as inviting your lover to your home and then leaving for the weekend, you could use connivance (the setting up of a situation so the other party commits a wrongful act) as a defense.

If your spouse wants a divorce, but you do not, it's best to encourage him or her to attend marital counseling with you. Counseling, while not always effective, is a better alternative than trying to use the court to force your spouse to stay married to you.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you need legal representation during your divorce. Our divorce law firm in Pasadena is staffed with experienced attorneys who are eager to advocate for your best interests as you're going through the divorce process.