How to Stop a Divorce You Don’t Want (and save your marriage)

Marriage is tough. There’s no denying that. Some estimates suggest nearly half of all marriages end up in divorce. Are you facing a divorce and wondering how to stop a divorce you don’t want?

Here’s how to stop a divorce you don’t want:

  • Make peace with the fact your partner wants a divorce.
  • Become calm and composed.
  • Know the reasons if not known already.
  • Talk to your partner about possible solutions.
  • Assure them of your commitment to change.
  • Take time to prove you are ready to change.

Divorces occur for specific reasons. If you are honest with yourself and each other, finding out the reasons is not hard.

If the reasons are fixable, you must be committed and resolute to change for the better.

Want to know the answers to all the burning questions raging inside your mind about divorce right now? Keep reading!

Can my spouse divorce me without my permission?

Yes, your spouse can divorce you without your permission.

Divorce is granted in all 50 states, even if only one partner wants it.

Usually, if one partner does not want the divorce, the other partner can file for a no-fault divorce petition, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Every state in the US is now a no-fault divorce state.

No-fault divorce means the spouse can file for divorce without showing any grounds for it. So, there’s nothing for you to contest the divorce. 

In this case, if you do not respond within a given time frame after being served the paperwork, the divorce will go ahead with the terms requested by the partner who filed for the divorce. The amount of time varies by state but is usually around a month.

The only way the divorce process can be stopped is if the person who filed for it withdraws the papers.

So, after all the trying to save the marriage, if your spouse is adamant and ends up serving the divorce papers to you, the right thing for you would be to respond and discuss all the aspects with your spouse and a lawyer. Otherwise, you won’t have any say regarding the terms related to property, child custody, alimony, spousal support, and other related issues.

At first glance, this might sound unreasonable to you. However, the laws are in place for the betterment of all people.

If you think about it with a calm mind, you will realize that no one should have the power to keep a person in a relationship they don’t want.

Think about an abusive relationship. If the abusive partner refuses a divorce, should the other spouse be forced to stay with them? Of course not.

Can delaying a divorce help save the marriage?

Yes, delaying a divorce may increase the chances of saving the marriage. The chances are strongest if the divorce decision is not a result of years of conflict and pain in marriage.

If one or both partners have experienced prolonged periods of misery while being in the marriage, delaying a divorce might only prolong the pain.

However, if you are among the couples who had normal levels of happiness and conflict but just gradually fallen out of love, you could try delaying to see if any positive changes come out.

You could give your hundred percent to finding out the past issues from both ends and try hard to change yourself and fix the issues.

Engage in relationship-rebuilding tactics, like: 

  • Spending quality time and open communication.
  • Being helpful and kind to each other.
  • Trying to forgive each other for past heartaches.
  • Helping each other with everyday chores.
  • Going to date nights to rekindle the spark.
  • Putting up your best front for each other.
  • Going on romantic retreats or vacations.
  • Taking care of each other’s physical and mental health.

Also, consider professional help in the form of marriage counseling.

It’s very common in marital conflicts to not be able to see each other’s perspectives.

An experienced marital therapist deals with such situations day in and day out and knows very well how to show you the right ways.

They would also be able to help you better understand your chances of saving the marriage by delaying the divorce from their hard-earned insightful wisdom over the years.

However, do not seek advice from social media or loved ones like a family member or best friend. They might have the best interest for you in their hearts, but they are not experts.

When is it too late to stop a divorce?

Legally speaking, the good news is it’s not too late to stop a divorce until the order of dissolution or divorce decree has been signed by a judge.

To utilize the chance of stopping the divorce, you have to:

  • Convince your spouse who filed for it to withdraw the petition.
  • Contest their fault grounds if they file for an at-fault divorce.
  • Prove to the court that you are not at fault by asserting a defense.

However, keep in mind that no matter how much you try, if one partner is hell-bent on getting a divorce, they are more likely to succeed than the one wanting to stop the divorce. It’s not considered a good policy to force a partner to stay in a marriage when they want out.

So, if you want to stop a divorce, your best bet is to look into your interpersonal aspects instead of legal advice.

Think about:

  • How determined and convinced is your spouse to get the divorce?
  • Do they still have lingering doubts about their decision?
  • Does the suffering, pain, and dissatisfaction of the marriage far outweigh the good things, like the love you have or had for each other?
  • Can you see any possibility of working on each other and the relationship to fix it?

Answers to these questions are likely to offer you insights into how far into the divorce process you have ventured already.

Has it gone so far that there’s nothing you can do to stop it?

Or, are there still chances to mend your ways and save the marriage? If you are struggling to get clear answers to these questions, do not shy away from open and frank discussions with your partner.

Above all, never hesitate to talk to your family therapist or a professional marriage counselor for discernment counseling. You can also consider joining support groups for emotional healing.

Wondering what more can you do to deal with a divorce that hurt like hell? Read my recent article, where I talk about all the time-tested tools for surviving a divorce.

Can the spouse who filed withdraw the divorce petition?

Yes, the spouse who files the petition can withdraw.

More specifically, it’s only the spouse who files the petition can withdraw, not the other partner. However, there is a caveat.

If one spouse filed the divorce petition and the other partner has already responded to it, the petitioner would also need consent from the other partner to get the withdrawal.

If the other partner has not responded after being served the divorce papers, the petitioner can get the petition withdrawn without needing anything else.

On the other hand, if the divorce petition was an at-fault petition and the defendant has already made a counterclaim for divorce, then the defendant would also have to separately file for dismissal of their claims.

There’s another option at hand for the spouse who filed the petition. They can file a motion to hold the case in abeyance. This means just keeping the legal process on hold.

So, if your partner is determined to get a divorce and you are trying to make them stop or delay it, presenting this option of pausing the case could do the trick. They might find it more agreeable to pause the application instead of totally withdrawing it.

Also, holding the case in abeyance could be specifically beneficial if there are financial conflicts involved.

While the case stays in abeyance, both parties get legal protection to preserve the claims they have on matters regarding assets, child custody, and other crucial matters.

What happens if I refuse to sign divorce papers or go to court?

Simply put, the spouse who filed the divorce petition gets the divorce along with all their proposed terms of the split. They could simply tell the court there are irreconcilable differences in the relationship.

It’s a common misconception that refusing to sign the divorce paper would make the divorce difficult for the petitioner. However, in most cases, it’s the opposite – it actually makes it easier for the spouse who filed for it.

As I have mentioned earlier, no court wants to keep a person tied to a marriage they do not want. So, if you do not sign the papers, the court will take it as an uncontested divorce filing and go ahead with a default judgment after a specific time.

The judge will look at the terms and claims put forward by the petitioner and grant all of the terms as applied for if found reasonable within the bounds of the law.

So, it would be in your best interest to respond to the divorce paper via a divorce attorney if you find any of the divorce terms to be unfavorable to you.

That way, the divorce will become contested, and you will get a chance to make your demands heard during mediation or trial.

However, the best way of getting a divorce done is if you and your partner agree on all the terms beforehand so that no extra time, effort, and money is spent on lengthy mediation and trials.

How often do wives change their minds about divorce?

It’s natural not to be sure about such tough choices in life, like divorce.

In fact, a study found that around 50 percent of couples considering divorce have been seen to change their mind within a year.

So, changing minds about divorce is common for both wives and husbands alike.

The change in the decision is most likely to occur if the issues leading to thoughts of divorce are not much serious, like cheating, abuse, and addiction.

Also, if the couples have not undergone prolonged periods of resentment and misery, a change of mind is easier to reach.

And there are many reasons behind the change of mind: 

  • Fear of loneliness.
  • Fear or social alienation.
  • The well-being of the kids.
  • Realizing the issues can be fixed.
  • The husband shows real resolve to fix the problems.
  • Realizing the happiness of togetherness is still more than the occasional heartaches or fights.
  • Not ready to bear the financial burden of a divorce.

So, what can a husband do to make his wife change their mind about divorce faster and more easily?

The answer is much simpler than you think – i

  • Showing commitment to change for the better.
  • Being determined to be your best self and grow even better.
  • Being genuinely kind, compassionate, and caring towards the wife.
  • Spending quality time with her.
  • Listening to what pains her about you and being willing to work on it.
  • Listening to her needs and trying wholeheartedly to make things easier for her.
  • Being always open to communicating issues and cooperating on problem-solving.

If you can do these great things mentioned above, no wife can resist changing her mind for too long!

But if they don’t change their mind and go through the divorce, do they regret it after the divorce? Find out in my recent article here!

Can you get remarried to the same person?

Sure, you can! It’s a free country, and you can do whatever you want with your life without breaking the law.

And marrying the same person, again and again, is not against any kind of law.

Here are the things you have to ensure before you can remarry the same person:

  • Your divorce process of the first marriage has been completely finalized.
  • If any of the partners got married again to someone else, they also have to be divorced.
  • Look back at your divorce terms to find out if any conditions need to be changed or canceled. Such as, if one of you were obligated to pay for spousal support, that would no longer be applicable in case of a remarriage. Petition the court to amend the applicable terms.
  • Get a new marriage license for remarriage. Yes, you need it even if you are marrying the same person.
  • It’s a good idea to create a prenuptial agreement to minimize the chances of financial or familial conflicts in the new relationship.
  • In some states, there’s a waiting period after the finalization of divorce before you can remarry. Consult with your family law attorney to get it sorted out.

On another note, you should keep in mind that 30% of couples who remarry each other end up getting divorced again.

So, before you make the final decision, try to think objectively about everything.

Ponder about the reasons you got divorced in the first place and investigate how likely that the same situation still persists.

After all the considerations, if you think that both of you have progressed and developed a lot and would benefit from each other’s companionship again, remarriage can be a great option for you.

As you two already know each other very well, this could be a second chance for you to finally achieve marital bliss.

So, if you are really serious about getting your ex back after a divorce, you won’t find any better advice than this recent article of mine.

Why and how often do divorced couples get back together?

Although no large-scale study was conducted on this subject, some small studies suggest that 10 to 15% of divorced couples are open to reconciliation and around 6% eventually remarry each other.

Although the stats above may not paint the actual picture, the reality is not far from it.

If you look at everyday life around us, we also don’t see or hear about remarriages between the same couple that often.

Now, if you are wondering about the possibility of you two getting back together after the divorce, take a look at the main reasons divorced couples get back together:

Children: Having children makes the possibility of getting back together higher. Kids give a de facto opportunity to meet often and know what’s going on in each other’s lives. So, when the couple gets to see improvement in each other, they are far more likely to get together, even more for the sake of the children.

Persistent Love: On some occasions, one or both partners find it hard to overcome romantic feelings for each other after a divorce. They realize that their love for their partner is more intense than the reasons they left each other for. As a result, of this realization, one partner might start a reconciliation process, and remarriage could ensue.

Perspective Change: A majority of divorces happen due to preventable reasons, such as mistakes, lack of commitment, or sudden intense fights. In those cases, the chances of realizing the mistakes after divorce are much higher. Once that perspective change happens, the couple could get back together.

Personal Growth: A divorce is a life-changing event. After a divorce, people often see life differently and get a renewed sense or drive to get things together. In some situations, they often realize how wrong their personal flaws and actions were that led to divorce, and remorse kicks in. As a result, they make a conscious decision to improve for the better. In this journey towards growth, they can decide to get together again and work together on fixing things.

Resolved Issues: It can also happen that the original reasons behind the divorce get resolved with time. Reasons like financial stress or a partner’s addiction could change with time.

Forgiveness: If the divorce occurred due to major reasons like betrayal and abuse, the only way the couple could get together is if one partner could forgive the other’s wrongdoings and get assurance that such things would never happen again.

Do you know law of attraction can work wonders when it comes to getting your ex back? If you have not tried it yet, don’t miss my recent article containing solid law of attraction techniques.

Can a judge grant a divorce without a spouse’s consent?

Yes, judges usually grant a divorce if only one partner wants and files for it.

However, things become complicated in terms of a contested divorce. Contested divorces are those when one partner actively opposes the divorce petition.

In case of a contested divorce, judges set a hearing date and listen to both parties. Then, they make a decision based on the actual situation.

Even if one partner opposes or contests a divorce, it is more than likely to result in a divorce if the other partner wants it. No court of the law wants to keep a person bound to a relationship that they don’t want to be in.

However, on some rare occasions, judges might deny a divorce, but not without a good reason:

Judges might deny divorce, if:

  • The divorce process was not followed accurately.
  • There are issues with the paperwork.
  • They think there’s a considerable amount of chance of reconciliation.
  • Something in the divorce terms is not right in terms of child support.
  • Insufficient grounds to prove the reasons or faults cited by the petitioner.

If a spouse does not want a divorce, the court would be the last thing to rely on to stop the divorce. You should rather focus on your relationship and find out if things are still salvageable.

Instead of opposing the divorce in front of a judge, the first thing you should do is talk to your partner to sort things out if possible.

Also, contesting a divorce in court means huge emotional and monetary damage for both partners.

How can I get my spouse to change their mind about divorce?

Now, let’s talk about what truly matters when things lead to divorce –

How can you save your marriage? Can you change your partner’s mind about divorce?

To let go or to hold on, what would be the wisest? If you decide that trying hard to hold on and change their mind would be the best route for you, here’s what you have to do:

Analyze Calmly

The first step for you is to sit back and relax to clear your mind and attain calmness. With a calm and focused mind, you will have a better chance of understanding what’s going wrong and what you have to do.

You will get a clearer view of who is at fault here and how much. You will also get to realize what areas of yourself and the relationship must be fixed to make things work again.

Talk Frankly

Once you have all the information sorted out about what’s going wrong and what needs to be done, start a frank and constructive communication process with your partner.

Apologize for everything wrong that falls on your end and tell them that you have thought things out and found out the main problems in the relationship.

Also, listen to what they have to say. If they seem still too volatile to think clearly, request them to take time and calm themselves so that they too can view things with a clear mind.

Show Commitment

Just talking won’t do when it comes to serious matters like changing your partner’s mind about the divorce. You will have to show real resolve, determination, and commitment to work to solve the issues.

If it’s something in you that’s driving your partner mad, show them that you acknowledge the issue and are very much ready to work on it to change for the better.

If it’s your lack of time and attention towards her and the family members, show them that you have turned around and are ready to reprioritize what’s important in life.

Be Kind and Compassionate

Throughout the whole process, it’s the most important thing to be kind and compassionate with your partner as well as towards yourself.

When a married couple goes through thoughts and talks of divorce, it’s very natural to lose your cool and lash out occasionally. But it’s also important to realize the weight of the strong feelings and be kind to each other for those momentary lapses in control.

Keep Improving

If you truly want your spouse to change their mind about divorce, you have to change their mind about you.

You have to improve to such an extent that when they look at you, they instantly see an improved you.

When they recognize the change in you and see how hard you are working to improve even more for them, they are much more likely to change their mind and give the marriage another chance.

11 Proven Signs Your Breakup Is Temporary


Legal options are not the ones you should look for when you want to stop a divorce you don’t want.

Your best chance of stopping a divorce is by changing your partner’s mind about the divorce. In a nutshell, you have to change their mind about you and the reasons behind their decision to divorce.

You have to calmly find out the core issues and communicate openly with your partner about your commitment to change for the better.

You have to show them with actual actions that you are ready to change and work to solve the problems that are tormenting the marriage.

Image by Mar from Pixabay

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