It's not uncommon for one partner presented with a suit for divorce to question whether this is the right way to go. You may wonder whether there are any options in divorce law for stopping the process. Take a look at how the system works, why it is this way, and how you might address the situation.
No, It Doesn't Take Two
Most cases in modern American divorce law center on a concept called irreconcilable differences. It's very important to understand that this legal standard only requires one of the two parties in a marriage to demand its end. Just one person has to declare that there are differences in the marriage that the two people can't resolve, and there will be no further examination of the legal question.
Also, every state in the U.S. uses some form of a no-fault system. This means no one has to blame anyone for the end of the marriage before a judge will approve it. While someone might be upset about an extramarital affair, for example, it doesn't matter as far as the law cares. Someone wants the marriage over, and that's the end of the subject.
Why Does It Work This Way?
The American divorce system didn't always work this way. California introduced a no-fault system based on irreconcilable differences in the late 1960s, and the rest of the country follow the state's lead over the next couple of decades. The legal reasoning for changing the system was that the previous at-fault system was unfair, was difficult to administer, and often produced strange outcomes. For example, there were scenarios in the old system where both people could want a marriage to end and a judge couldn't grant the divorce if no one was at fault.
How Can You Address the Situation?
In the strictest legal sense, you can't stop a divorce if your partner is intent upon it happening. At most, you may be able to delay it. Most states require cooling-off periods, although these typically range from a few weeks to several months.
Likewise, a divorce may be delayed to provide time for the suing party to serve the other side with paperwork. However, if the receiving side can't be located or won't take receipt of the documents, the suing side can eventually petition the court to grant the divorce with or without their participation.
The most you can do is to use the available time to try to patch things up. However, you should also consider whether your partner's dissatisfaction with the marriage makes a quick and clean divorce desirable for both of you.
For more information, contact a divorce law service.