Recently I have had more than one client hire me who wanted a divorce but
their husband did not. The conversations kind of went a little like this
this: “Hi, Bryan. I want a divorce but my husband refuses to give me a
divorce. I have been unhappy for years. I’ve tried to talking but my husband
shuts down. I scheduled marriage counseling after my husband agreed, but
he never went. My husband told me he did not need counselling. I was the
problem and should go by myself. I then said I wanted a
divorce. My husband then got upset and told me I could not have a divorce. He
told me if I tried he would ruin me. I am so scared. Now he acts like
nothing has happened.
My husband has not worked in years and refuses to help in anyway. All he
does is sit at home and drink. I asked if he could at least tidy up the
house. He then got angry and through a bottle at me. I can’t take
it anymore. I filled out some divorce paperwork but he refuses to sign.
My friend says I can still get a divorce, what can I do?
My heart went out to these women. If the above scenarios were not bad enough
they usually had other problems on top such as loss of family members
or health problems. Then their husbands decided to make things even more
difficult by refusing to participate in the
divorce. This meant they were forced to do all the work yet again to get a divorce.
These women often felt guilt for seeking a divorce and wondering how their
husbands would make it without them.
Divorcing an Unwilling Husband
We deal with all kinds of couples going though divorce and there is a difference
between divorcing someone who does not want a divorce, but will participate
in the process, and divorcing someone who refuses to participate in the
divorce and does whatever they can to make things more difficult such
as avoid process. One is sort of sad. The other is frustrating and dumb.
There are two ways to
divorce in Texas:
- By Agreement or
- By Trial
If your husband will not participate in the
Texas divorce process, then you have no choice but to go to Trial. You cannot reach an agreement
someone with someone who will not negotiate. You cannot make amediated settlement agreement with someone who will not mediate or sign the agreement.
Some of my clients think that their husband’s ignoring the
divorce process or refusal to participate means they get whatever they want and should
be make their case quicker, easier, and cheaper that is not necessarily the case.
The truth of the matter is that a Judge is required under the Texas Family
Code with making a “Just and Right Division.” This means that even though your husband does not participate
in the process we must show the court that the division of the property
is just and right. His absence from the process does mean we make sure
you get the things you want if we can show the division is equitable.
If you want to give yourself everything and him nothing that probably
will not fly.
Your husband difficult behavior means you are going to need a
Texas divorce lawyer. Your divorce lawyer will:
- Have your husband served with an Original Petition for Divorce
- If he refuses to file an answer or participate afterwards your divorce
lawyer will help you proceed with default divorce
A default divorce involves:
- a mini trial just without your husband and
- some additional paperwork
- possible additional time and money
Ultimately it means a judge will grant you a divorce.
Problems with Divorcing an Unwilling Spouse
In Texas, a divorce is really 3 lawsuits at the same time. Many people
assume it is a simple matter of changing your marital status from married
to single. A Texas divorce is really about:
Divorce – changing you from married to single
Property and Debts – Who gets what no matter whose name it is in
Texas divorce requires a decision regarding what is going to happen with the property.
This means the court and your attorney needs to know about your marital
finances. This means If you do not know all of that information by yourself
and your husband will not help it may take longer for you to get a
We always try and help you save money by requesting the information your
husband should have from him. However, if he ignores your requests we
can ask the judge to hold him in contempt but that does not always which
may mean he is thrown into jail until he is willing to comply. This a
step many of my clients are reluctant to take because of guilt which means
getting the records in alternative ways.
We will have collect the information possibly by subpoena of:
- financial institutions
- directly from banks
- credit card companies
This takes time and costs money.
Divorcing an Unwilling Spouse and the Days Ahead
It is not uncommon for the clients I represent to have feelings of guilt.
This is completely natural part of divorce process. Many times, your Ex
will play on your emotions and add to your guilt. However, their bad behavior
that led to the divorce in the first place will continue or increase.
From my experience, you are not the only reason the marriage did not work
out. It takes two people to make a relationship work. One person can carry
the load for part of time when the other person is down. However, that
gets heavy if you are the only one putting in the effort.
When you want a
divorce but your spouse does not, you must prepare yourself. Assume that you will
not have any help from your Ex. You are going to have to figure out your
divorce by yourself.
A good place to start is:
by hiring a
Texas divorce lawyer
- gathering relevant financial documents
- Planning what is going to happen with the children
- figuring out how you are going to pay for the divorce
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
- Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
- 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
- Does it Matter who Files First in a Texas Divorce?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and