For any divorce lawyer, one of the great annoyances of the job is dealing with clients' exes who insist they're going to stop some or all of the process. Anyone getting divorced should understand how the system addresses these concerns, especially in light of numerous legal structures that strongly favor no-fault proceedings. Here is what a divorce attorney will have to say about exes who insist they can prevent certain things.
Preventing the Divorce
No one can prevent a divorce anywhere in America if at least one of the marital partners wants out and continues to want out. If your ex says they can stop the divorce, all they're doing is proving they need to talk to a lawyer. The modern no-fault divorce system guarantees that you can end a marriage as long as you believe there are irreconcilable differences. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.
At most, an ex might be able to delay the process a bit. For example, some states have cooling-off periods that stretch for weeks or even a few months. However, at the end of the cooling-off period, a judge will grant a petitioner's divorce if they still want it.
Not taking the divorce papers is another way someone might delay the process. If you're suing for divorce, you should make a good-faith effort to serve the other side with the paperwork. There are credible reasons for delays, such as when someone is away on business or deployed overseas with the military. However, if the other side manages to avoid being served months on end, your divorce attorney can ask the court to grant the divorce in absentia.
This is where an ex might have some leverage in a divorce. A lot depends on who has a legal claim to the property. The court will divide anything your state considers marital property. However, people usually can maintain titles to non-marital assets. Depending on how your state handles the division of property, your ex may be able to eventually evict you from the house if they solely own it.
Taking the Kids
Another common bullying tactic in divorce is threatening to take the kids and prevent the other parent from ever seeing them. Courts do not tolerate this behavior. Even if there is a sane reason to prevent one parent from seeing their children, a parent needs to obtain a court order to that effect. Otherwise, you have every right to request custody and visitation hearings to sort out where the children will live and when you can see them. If the two sides can't reach an agreement, a judge will impose one.
For more information, talk to a divorce lawyer near you.