Happiness is subjective, as is suffering. You may be miserable in your marriage because your spouse cheated or doesn’t carry their share of household responsibilities.
Your spouse, on the other hand, is perfectly happy because they had exactly what they want. While you dream of a fresh start, they want to maintain the status quo. What can you do as an Arizona resident if you want a divorce but your spouse doesn’t?
Take time to prepare yourself for filing
Someone upset about a divorce filing will likely respond in one of two ways. They will either refuse to acknowledge it whatsoever or they will become aggressive. It’s good to plan for the worst-case scenario by getting the documentation and help that you need to start living independently once you file the paperwork.
Consulting with an attorney long before you talk with your spouse about the issue or serve them with paperwork will usually help you make the best decisions possible.
Wait to see how they respond when you do file
Once you initiate divorce proceedings and serve your spouse with divorce paperwork, they will have an opportunity to respond. Under Arizona law, there is a mandatory waiting period, during which your spouse can respond to your filing. The length of their time to respond depends on how you serve or notify them.
If they do respond, they may suggest settlement terms, allowing you to start negotiating for your divorce. If they don’t respond at all, you can then proceed with the divorce by default, a move that gives you the control of setting specific terms for property division and custody.
What if they try to fight you in court?
Contested divorces can quickly become messy and expensive for former spouses. You may worry about your ex dragging you into court and fighting you over every detail. While it is possible that moving forward with a divorce could prompt your ex into petty behavior, the worst they can do is make you state your own case and preference in the family court to advocate for fair rulings in your divorce.
Even if your ex never agrees, the Arizona family courts can grant you a divorce. Eventually, the judge will be the one to set the terms if the two of you can’t reach an agreement on your phone. You should not let fear of how your ex might respond keep you from pursuing the happier future that you want.