How long does a divorce take if one party doesn't agree?

How long does a divorce take if one party doesn’t agree? Know the details

In cases where both parties agree to divorce, the situation can get tense. While the cases in which one party doesn’t agree makes the situation even more complicated. Divorce isn’t something anybody wants to go through. You want it done as soon as possible when you are in it. 

The spouse that doesn’t agree can refuse to sign the paper or may fail to respond to the divorce petition. Many of us feel it’s impossible to end the process when such a situation happens, but fortunately, you still have options. 

Know why they aren’t signing.

Sometimes divorce procedure can be very hectic and long. It’s not that the couple sign the divorce papers with much thought. However, it can be awkward for you, but try talking to him to understand why he doesn’t want to sign the papers.

In many cases, one spouse worries about how things will work out with the children and want to discuss something about other matters first. Sometimes they don’t want to sign the divorce papers out of anger. They don’t want to sign the document to keep you stuck and cause trouble. 

In any case, it’s essential to understand why your spouse isn’t signing the divorce paper. 

Main Reasons why your spouse isn’t signing the Divorce papers

Here are the few main reasons why your spouse is delaying the divorce process:

1. Your spouse does not want to divorce you

Some people don’t want to divorce their partner and are just delaying the process to buy more time in the hope of reconciliation. It’s the least common reason for divorce delay, but many people don’t want to let go of their spouse and believe they can patch up the marriage. 

2. Your other half is acting out of bitterness.

Some spouses are angry about the divorce and want their partners to suffer for months and years in this hectic procedure to ease their anger. When such feel observe that the situation is not their hand, they delay the process to have some control. 

3. Your spouse is planning financial games.

Planning financial games is the most evil reason to delay the divorce process. They may make you break by paying high attorney fees, transferring assets, or delaying support payments. Such people will do anything not to let you have a fair settlement. 

Divorce is challenging but becomes even more complicated when a spouse plays tricks. 

Factors that affect the length of the divorce

Every divorce process proceeds according to the nature and time frame. This time length depends on many factors involving divorce and how you choose to divorce.  

Your state divorce law will also impact the timeline of the process. In some states, there is a mandatory waiting period to start the casual divorce procedure.  

1. Mandatory waiting period

Some states have a mandatory waiting period before the start of the procedure. The only possible thing you can do during this time is to wait patiently before the proceedings. Some states have simple rules. For example, you only have to wait for 20 days in Florida. 

Some other states make things extremely complicated. For example, in Arkansas, you must wait 18 months for a no-fault divorce to start the divorce procedure. 

2. Ongoing differences

Continuous disputes are the most common reason for long and complicated divorce procedures. In such cases, the partners cannot negotiate and compromise on basic things that elongate the process. 

The most commonly debated things include child support, spousal support, child custody, etc. If the couple cannot negotiate, the court will decide that both parties must accept.

3. Children custody

If you don’t have any children or the children are already adults or teens, it will not impact the divorce time. A child custody agreement is to help in co-parenting. The court will award every parent the role and specific responsibilities in this agreement.

It’s beneficial in cases where parents struggle to get along well. It also produces a sense of everyday routine in children’s life. 

4. Location

Every state has its law and requirements for divorce. You will have to meet your location requirements to be able to file for a divorce. It includes the appearance in court, even if it’s a handful of times. 

You can’t come to the court when it’s convenient for you. You will have to accept the dates that the court gives. If the court has many cases, it can take a long time for you to have your turn. Both you and your spouse must schedule according to the court availability. But still, you will have the local court benefit that will save traveling time and money. 

5. Large assets

Postnuptial or prenuptial agreements can divide assets accessible during a divorce. According to experts, the best time to decide the division of assets is before getting married. If you already have a prenuptial agreement, you will not have to worry about it afterward. 

You must undergo this lengthy, complicated procedure if you have yet to discuss it before marriage.

Large, complicated assets are challenging to manage during a divorce. It can be a challenge even if you and your partner are ready to cooperate. Collecting all the necessary documents to start the process can take weeks. 

What to do if your spouse is deliberately delaying the divorce?

What to do if your spouse is deliberately delaying the divorce?

If you are wondering how long a divorce takes if one partner doesn’t agree, then the honest answer is it depends. Generally, a contested divorce can last from 6 months to many years. I wish I could tell you what you want to listen to, but I must inform you of such worst-case scenarios. 

Don’t get discouraged; you still have many options. You can request a court hearing with your lawyer to tell the judge about your difficulties. Talking to a judge will help you better understand the situation and your legal rights. You can also impose court orders against your uncooperative spouse.  

The court orders can concern child custody, alimony, restraining orders, and other requirements for divorce proceedings. For example, the judge can order the spouse to start paying child support till the divorce is finalized or may call him to appear strictly on the timeline decided by the court. 

If your spouse is violating the court orders in any way, the judge will charge him with contempt of court which is enough to scare them. The fear of jail will be enough to stop playing dirty tricks to delay the procedure. 

Your attorney can also request in the court to pay your attorney fees as the divorce settlement and compensation of financial losses. If you are not the cause of the divorce delay, a judge may consider rewarding you for the attorney fees. 

Do both partners need to agree to the divorce?

Sometimes you want to get out of the situation, but that doesn’t mean you can file a divorce without your spouse knowing. Your spouse must know about the divorce, but their refusal doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything. 

A contested divorce is a long and complicated procedure; if you think your spouse will oppose the idea of divorce, you can file for a no-fault divorce. Though it’s a little more complex process, you can get a divorce based on incompatibility. 

In maximum cases, the judge will only proceed with the issues once they have both spouses. So if you are filing for divorce and want to hide it from another partner, you will not be able to do so. 


Can I divorce if my partner disagrees?

If your spouse disagrees, you can use the dispensed service to continue the procedure. To successfully claim the divorce, you must prove to the court that you have done everything to find your spouse and serve him with the divorce papers. 

What is the longest time a divorce can take?

There is no fixed time for a divorce, as it depends upon different factors. However, if a judge notices that the divorce has been pending for around a year, he will try to solve the issues and finalize the outcome of the proceedings. 

What happens if one party doesn’t want to get a divorce?

If you and your spouse argue over the divorce settlement, it’s best to consult a lawyer to guide you. If a partner is deliberately delaying the process and not answering the petition, you can appeal to the judge for a divorce by default. 

How late is too late to get a divorce?

If you and your spouse have incompatibilities and are unhappy, you can file for divorce, regardless of age. But remember that the divorce process and its implications are different for old couples than for young ones. 

What would happen if my husband didn’t accept my divorce?

If your partner doesn’t want to get a divorce, the only available option is to go to court. Meditation will be a waste of time if your partner is not participating. You can ask the court to grant the divorce by default if your husband isn’t responding at all. 


How long does a divorce take if one party doesn’t agree? Most of divorce cases involve two spouses who want to file for divorce. They both have to recognize that the marriage is over. But if one partner is not accepting the divorce doesn’t mean it’s the end. 

Things will be more complicated, and the procedure will take longer, but you can still do it. When you are filing a divorce against an unwilling spouse, you must understand that the process will take longer than expected and continue it patiently. 

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