Does my spouse have to agree to a divorce?
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Does my spouse have to agree to a divorce?

Sometimes, only one spouse wants a divorce. Once divorce papers are delivered, many spouses that were opposed to divorce change their minds. However, there are circumstances where the spouse remains resolute that they will not agree to divorce. 

There can be many reasons as to why one spouse would refuse to give their permission for divorce. Where does this leave the other partner who has decided that they want to end the marriage? 

Don’t despair, there are still options available. Let’s take a closer look. 

When the easy options won’t suffice, go to a fault-based divorce

Ohio gives you the option of a dissolution, which requires both spouses to agree on all issues before presenting their agreement to the court for consent. You also have the option of a no-fault divorce, which requires both spouses to admit in court that they have “irreconcilable differences.”  This is the easiest and most common way to end a marriage, but it is not an option if both parties don’t agree. 

If your spouse won’t agree to either of these, you can go for a fault-based divorce. A fault divorce is when one spouse says the other spouse is to blame for the unsuccessful marriage. If the fault is successfully proven, it places the culpable spouse at a general legal disadvantage in child custody, alimony and property division. 

In general, if everything else fails, you can obtain a fault-based divorce simply by living apart from your spouse for a full, uninterrupted year — whether by your choice or via their abandonment. 

In short, your spouse may be able to slow down your divorce, but nothing they do will ultimately stop it.