7 Steps to Getting a Divorce Settlement Even If Your Spouse Isn’t Cooperating

Over 780,000 people get divorced every year. That stat makes clear that in the United States, divorce has become increasingly commonplace.

If a person is looking to get a divorce and a divorce settlement alongside it but their partner won’t cooperate, pursuing legal separation can be particularly tricky. For those of you that are facing that situation, we recommend you keep reading the information we share below.

In this post, we break down steps you should take to try to bring your partner on board with the divorce process, and if that’s not possible, describe how to navigate your divorce on your own.

Don’t Stress Out

Divorces are rarely easy, even for those initiating it. If your partner is being uncooperative, that can add new layers of complication and resentment to your situation that will create an even more tumultuous process.

Our advice to you when managing an uncooperative partner is to first and foremost, not get more stressed. Stress leads to mistakes and mistakes lead to diluted divorce settlements, even when you’re working with quality legal representation.

In the United States, you don’t need a partner’s buy-in to get a divorce so know that your result can still be rather good, even without bi-partisan support.

Talk to Your Spouse

While it’s not a necessity to have your partner on board with a divorce, it can make things go a lot faster. Consequently, if possible, we always recommend that couples communicate and attempt to get on the same page.

Sit down with your spouse if they’re willing, hear what their concerns are, share yours, and be empathetic.

It can be hard to let go of what was supposed to be a lifelong commitment. By opening lines of communication, you can perhaps move your partner off the defense and have them start to see that divorce for you is inevitable and outcomes for them will likely be better if they don’t drag their feet.

Determine Grounds for Your Divorce

With or without your spouse’s help, you’ll have to define grounds for your divorce before filing for it. Grounds for divorce are instrumental when it comes to how judges rule on settlements.

There doesn’t need to be serious grounds for your divorce in order for it to be successful so be honest when stating why you’re seeking separation. There is what is called a “no-fault divorce” which is used to describe when one or both people are simply not in love any longer.

If you’re not sure how best to declare your divorce grounds, you can skip to our next step which is to…

Find a Divorce Lawyer

Managing a divorce on your own is possible but can be far less quick and lucrative. An attorney can help guide you in a way where you can maximize your divorce settlement results and hopefully, come away with an outcome you enjoy.

The great news is that there are ample divorce lawyers that specialize in uncontested divorce cases, contested divorce cases, and other niche situations. Some will work for an hourly rate while others will work on the contingency of collecting a portion of your settlement.

Reflect on which kind of legal arrangement works best for you and seek attorneys that are willing to operate within those confines.

Serve Papers

To divorce somebody, even somebody that’s not cooperating, you need to give them the opportunity to review the divorce papers you and your attorney prepare. This is done through the serving process.

Serving somebody’s divorce papers requires a professional server to hand papers directly to your partner through whatever means are necessary. As soon as it has been confirmed that your partner has received the documents, the clock starts.

Note that if your partner is evading getting served, some courts will review that evidence and enter into a default judgment against them.


How long you’ll have to wait after your partner has been served divorce papers varies from state to state. Your attorney will have insight into this.

Hopefully, receiving divorce papers will give your spouse enough of a reality check that they’ll comply and allow you both to move on with your lives. If not, once enough time lapses, you’ll have to speak to a judge without your partner present.

Get a Default Judgement

Default judgments are awarded to parties that are dealing with spouses that refuse to partake in the divorce process. Judges will review information about a partner’s non-compliance as well as the facts surrounding the divorce, as they are presented by the attending party.

Once everything has been assessed, a judge will enter into a judgment, usually in favor of the present party, since they were not able to hear any other perspectives on the case.

This is why it behooves all parties, no matter how contentious a divorce gets, to come to the table and go through the process. All that avoiding cooperation does is put the non-cooperative person in a position where they can’t plead their case to legal authorities.

A Great Divorce Settlement Can Be Earned in Non-Cooperative Divorces

We’ve talked to several people that lose sleep over their non-cooperative partners as they navigate divorces. We always remind those people that just because some partners won’t cooperate when it comes to divorce doesn’t mean that they will have the ability to derail the process.

Be patient, let your lawyer manage your divorce’s details, and you’ll soon be free of the union you entered into.

If you’d like more guidance on getting your divorce settlement or other legal matters, our team welcomes you to explore more of the content we have featured in our blog.

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