How to Leave a Husband Who Doesn't Want a Divorce

Deciding to get a divorce is rarely easy. If your husband doesn't want to get a divorce, it can make the process even more difficult. Though the laws governing divorce differ from state to state, you can always protect your interests best by talking to a qualified divorce attorney. Almost all states allow for "no fault" divorces that don't require proof that anyone did anything wrong, but the process becomes more difficult when both spouses don't agree to the divorce.

Close-up of a letter being written with a wedding ring on top. (Image: Gajus/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Hire a divorce attorney before taking any action. Also, talk to your lawyer to learn what the law allows. If you don't have a lawyer or are unable to get one, contact your local legal aid agency or county courthouse, and ask what help is available to you. Many courthouses have law libraries or staff members that can help you in the divorce process.

Step 2

Leave. No state requires married couples to reside together. Whether you are married or in the process of divorce, you can always live apart from your husband if you choose to do so.

Step 3

Consider a restraining order. In many situations, courts grant restraining orders in divorces to prevent either party from disposing of marital assets until the divorce is finalized. If you fear domestic violence or criminal acts by your husband, you can also ask for restraining orders that limit physical contact between you and your husband.

Step 4

File your divorce petition. You can only get a divorce by filing a divorce petition. You must meet your state's residency and grounds requirements before filing, but as long as you do, you can file for divorce at any time. A divorce is a lawsuit, and your spouse does not have to agree to it for you to file the petition.

Step 5

Go to court. If you and your husband can't come to an agreement on any terms of the divorce, the court will decide the issue for you. Even if you come to an agreement, the court will still have to enter an order dissolving the marriage; so you must go to court.


Always get qualified legal advice. Divorce cases can be complicated, and you should always seek out the advice of an experienced divorce lawyer in your area. Don't rely solely on what you read or hear from friends. Talk to a lawyer whenever you need legal advice.

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