Do Both Parties Have To Agree To Divorce to End the Marriage?

Many people may get misguided that when they decide in favor of online divorce in New York or dealing with marriage termination in the courtroom, both partners are there to stand for their views. And their aim is the same – to finalize the relationships officially. The truth is that not every person wishes for divorce even though their partner claims such an initiative. If you have the latter role, you may start wondering ‘Do both parties have to agree to divorce?’ and how to act in similar situations to succeed with your beginnings. Here is what you should know:

Can You Get a Divorce without Your Partner’s Agreement


In most US jurisdictions the desire of one partner is enough to proceed with the divorce meaning that the answer to the ‘do both parties have to agree to divorce’ question is ‘not necessarily’. If you apply for no-fault marriage termination, you can finalize your marriage even without your soon-to-be-ex cooperating much.

Yet, sometimes it may be more difficult to obtain an online divorce in New York without your partner’s approval. For example, some states may make you and your partner attend marriage counseling or mediation if any of you are reluctant to end the marriage. Plus, if you have bigger assets or small kids, you will have no choice but to come to an agreement on how to handle them after marriage termination, implying that the commitment of both partners is required.

Nevertheless, your most proper decision, in any case, is to reach out for a consultation with an experienced lawyer so that you can assess your situation and build up a strategy on how to cope with your marital issues successfully.

Can You Get Divorced Without a Signature from Your Spouse


Suppose you both understand that your marriage is over and you come up with the papers pack to get the process rolling but your spouse refuses to put their signature on it. Then you may be wondering ‘Can you get a divorce without the other person signing?’. Here are the steps you need to take to get the benefit from an affirmative answer:

  • get ready for a contested divorce:
  • serve your partner with relevant papers;
  • wait for around 30 days for your partner to answer;
  • if there is no or a contested answer, prepare for a court hearing;
  • present evidence and views on your case;
  • get a divorce decree if you qualify for it even without your spouse putting a signature.

Mind that the case where one partner is against the divorce or is reluctant to cooperate last longer and costs more. If you want to streamline your marriage termination despite the complications, you‘d rather ask your family lawyer how to reach your target successfully and be open to cooperation and tolerance towards your former beloved.

Do both parties have to agree to divorce to end the marriage?
No-Fault Divorce: In a no-fault divorce, both parties do not need to agree to end the marriage. The person filing for divorce only needs to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and the court will grant the divorce. The other party does not need to agree or provide a reason for the divorce.
Fault Divorce: In a fault divorce, the person filing for divorce must provide a valid reason for the divorce, such as adultery or cruelty. In this case, both parties do not need to agree to end the marriage, but the court will require evidence to support the grounds for divorce. If one party contests the grounds, the court may not grant the divorce.
Uncontested Divorce: Even in a no-fault divorce, both parties can agree to the terms of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, and support. In this case, the divorce is considered uncontested, and both parties must sign a settlement agreement before the court will grant the divorce.
Contested Divorce: If both parties cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, the divorce is considered contested. In this case, a judge will decide on the terms of the divorce, including property division, child custody, and support. This process can be lengthy, expensive, and emotionally challenging for both parties.
Separation Agreement: In some states, both parties can agree to a separation agreement, which outlines the terms of the separation and may include provisions for divorce. If both parties agree to the terms of the separation agreement, the court may grant the divorce based on the agreement without requiring a trial.

How to File for Divorce with a Reluctant Spouse


Overall, once you get that in your jurisdiction you are allowed to get a divorce in case your spouse is against it, you should discover what scenario awaits you and get prepared properly. Review the common steps for you to take when the answer to ‘do both parties have to agree to divorce’ allows you to act independently from your partner’s reluctance to finalize a marriage. Besides, if you act properly, your partner may change their mind and work on a compromise side by side with you:

  1. Ask for professional assistance – a lawyer with relevant experience is the first person you should get advice from. They will have the local legislature explained to you, assess your current situation, and help you to go through the process to reach advantageous aftermath.
  2. Define the grounds for marriage termination – in most cases, you will opt for a no-fault process to streamline and simplify your divorce case. Yet, if your partner chooses to contest your initiative, be ready to come up with fault grounds and evidence for them. Mind that the latter option will take you more time and money to finalize.
  3. Serve your partner – after divorce filing, you must deliver all the similar papers to your partner. If they refuse to accept and sign them, you should cooperate with a professional server or ask the court to allow you to exploit the serving alternatives.
  4. Visit the court – if your partner is reluctant to cooperate, be ready to work on your case in court. You will deliver your views and evidence on the case and get your attorney to help you with the legal part.
  5. Do the negotiations – your spouse may be against the divorce in the early stage but as the issue moves on, they may be ready to compromise with you. Join powers with your attorney, count their advice, and work on a fair and beneficial settlement with your partner.
  6. Prioritize cooperation – no matter what is between you, try to persuade your spouse that cooperation is a mutually beneficial choice. This implies that an amicable divorce or mediation is the scenario you have to opt for to target a comfortable and advantageous aftermath without much waste of time and money for you and your soon-to-be ex.

Overall, your divorce process will look like a standard procedure with the only difference that you may need to persuade your partner to cooperate on marriage termination with you. Ask a therapist, your support network, and an attorney for advice on the issue, and aim to find a compromise with your former beloved without much turbulence.


If the only question that prevents you from making a life-turning choice for the sake of your family’s happiness is ‘Do both people have to agree to divorce?’, don’t hesitate to move on with your case and reach the expected results without turbulence. Explore the local legislature on how to deal with a reluctant spouse in case of divorce, reach out to your family attorney for advice, and find your way to achieve your happiness even without your partner ready to cooperate.