Can I Prevent My Spouse from Getting a Divorce?


In many cases, the decision to seek a Pasadena divorce is mutually agreed upon by both spouses. Sometimes, however, only one person wants out of the marriage.

It's important to keep in mind that marriage is a voluntary relationship entered into by two parties. You could once protest a divorce by disagreeing with the grounds for divorce, but the advent of no-fault divorce laws means that you can no longer prevent your spouse from divorcing you simply because you wish to stay married. Your spouse does not need your permission to seek a divorce.

Once divorce papers are served, you have 30 days to respond. If you do not respond in this time period, your spouse can file paperwork with the court that grants him or her a divorce by default. So, refusing to sign divorce papers is not an effective tactic in preventing a divorce.

Technically, there are plenty of tactics you can use to draw out your case. Refusing to negotiate on issues like child custody and the division of marital assets will keep you married for quite some time. However, a lengthy legal battle is expensive and only serves to fuel tension in your relationship. If you're hoping to eventually reconcile with your spouse, this is not the right strategy.

If your spouse has filed for divorce and you do not want to end your marriage, your best option might be to encourage him or her to seek marriage counseling. A friend or family member may be able to convince your spouse that counseling is appropriate if he or she is not listening to your opinion.

It's a common misconception that a judge can order your spouse to go to marriage counseling if you do not want a divorce. A judge will not order your spouse to attend counseling sessions simply because you want to stay married. However, a judge does have the authority to order both you and your spouse to see a divorce mediator if you can't agree on the terms of your divorce. A mediator is a neutral third party who helps you come up with a mutually agreeable settlement. He or she is not a marriage counselor and will not encourage your spouse to withdraw the divorce papers.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal assistance during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena divorce attorneys can provide the help you need to handle your case and move on with the next chapter of your life.