When One Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce

We at Trusted Divorce Services work exclusively with ex-couples who want an amicable and uncontested divorce. That doesn’t mean both partners come to the decision at the same time. In fact, many couples have come to us where one spouse doesn’t want divorce, and one spouse does.

In fact we have a service that is perfect for this situation, our Zero Risk Divorce Prep Session, which is a 90 minute meeting with both spouses that is designed to get everyone working together.

If you know you want a divorce, but your partner has not come to that decision yet, it can seem like you’re trapped. How can you move forward when you can’t even agree on where you are now?

Here are some things to consider.

  • Your partner may be at a different place in the grief cycle

When one person has made the decision to separate and the other is blindsided, the person on the receiving end feels hurt, betrayed, confused, and in total shock. They can’t make sense of why their spouse told them they no longer want the relationship. One client describes the experience as if her heart was cut with a saw; another says that the feeling was worse than the loss of two family members combined. Meanwhile, the person who made the decision to end the relationship has already been through the pain and hurt to arrive at this decision. So to one person, this is new information and to the other person, they are ready to move on.

  • Mediation may help

You have a number of tasks to accomplish. You need to move through some of your emotional baggage with your partner, but you also need to begin the legal process of separation and then divorce. If your partner does not want to divorce, it can seem like both of these things are impossible. A mediator may be able to help. By enlisting a neutral third party who is an expert in de-escalating conflict, you and your partner can come to understand each other’s perspectives better and start to work toward settling your divorce. All without paying lawyers’ fees.

If you’re really lost, I recommend the book “Finding Your Own North Star” by Martha Beck. This is one that is worth buying in hard copy, not just as an eBook, as it has a lot of thought provoking worksheets. See below for an interview with the author.

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Do you want something, but you cannot have it unless someone agrees but in your mind you know that person will never in a million years agree to it? Do you feel frustrated, deprived, and well…powerless?

That’s what a lot of people I talk to feel.

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