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What If My Spouse Wants a Divorce Even Though I Don’t?

The worst thing to hear in a relationship is that your current spouse is contemplating divorce when you are not. One spouse may want a divorce for many reasons, and you may be completely unaware of some of these reasons. They may have been unfaithful and began seeing someone else, have different future expectations, or want to live alone with the children.

Regardless of why the other partner wants a divorce, it is important to stay calm and take steps to protect yourself during the divorce proceedings. The best way to do this is by hiring an experienced divorce attorney to prepare you for the legal process of a divorce. At Skillern Firm, we have helped many clients go through a divorce that they were not expecting.

We know how difficult it is to hear that your partner wants a divorce when you do not, and we want to help you in any way we can. Our team of divorce attorneys can help you by filing documentation on your behalf, advising you on what you are entitled to, guiding you toward support groups and resources, and fighting on your behalf to protect your legal rights.

Our team of lawyers has significant experience helping clients through the divorce process and we truly care about what you are going through. We prioritize mediation and negotiation to resolve divorce issues. However, if necessary, we will take your case to a family court.

Call us today to arrange an initial consultation by calling 936-213-8479.

Reasons For Divorce

Every marriage and relationship is different. The reasons for divorce within each marriage are also completely different. As it is such a personal decision, there is no way of knowing exactly why a person decides to get a divorce. There may be signs that your spouse was contemplating divorce prior to the announcement, or it may be out of the blue.

Some common reasons why one spouse may want a divorce include:


When your wife or husband tells you they have been seeing other people, it can be heartbreaking. Unless you are in an open relationship, most people in a marriage expect their partners to be faithful and maintain a level of trust. When one partner betrays this trust, it is difficult to get back.

If you were unfaithful to your partner, they may want a divorce because they cannot stay in the relationship anymore without this level of trust. It may be possible to work through this in discernment counseling. However, pushing your partner to continue the relationship can sometimes make things worse.

If your partner was unfaithful to you and now wants a divorce because they want to create a new life with another person, this can be extremely difficult. In these moments, it is important to know your worth and work towards your best self, through speaking with family and friends or therapy, if necessary.

Unhappy Marriage

Unhappy marriages are a leading cause of divorce. A marriage can become unhappy when there is no communication between the couple, one partner has anger toward the other or feels hurt, there is no physical intimacy, or both spouses have a different idea of the future.

When only one partner wants to make the relationship work and the other partner feels ready to move forward, it can be quite difficult. You may hope that you and your partner can speak and resolve issues through a counselor or that the relationship will become healthy again.

However, there comes a point when you should prioritize your own mental health and well-being and accept the divorce. You can use divorce or legal separation as a time to make positive changes in your life. If you have been in an unhappy marriage, it is helpful to engage in self-care and talk to family and friends about your issues.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence and emotional abuse are still huge problems in marriages. It may be possible that your spouse wants a divorce because there has been abuse within the relationship or they allege domestic violence in the marriage.

If this is the case, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Allegations of domestic violence can upturn your life, and you risk losing out on assets if your partner files for a fault-based divorce.

Can Marriage Counseling Save My Marriage?

When relationships are ending and one partner wants a divorce, the other partner may be tempted to save the relationship. If there are children involved, it can be even more difficult to accept that a marriage is ending. You may try to save the marriage through marriage counseling, by pleading with your partner, or by putting your focus on the marriage rather than on yourself.

Sometimes, marriage counseling is a good option for saving a relationship. If nothing major has happened in the relationship and both spouses are willing to go to counseling, it may be a good option. However, if your husband or wife is certain that they want a divorce and do not want to speak to a counselor, you cannot force them to do it.

The best thing to do in this situation is to remain calm and try not to force the marriage to work. Focusing on yourself and your children is the best way to navigate a divorce.

What If My Spouse Wants a Divorce Even Though I Don’t?

Hearing that your partner wants a divorce when you don’t can be heartbreaking. With emotions running high, it’s difficult to know what to do to protect yourself and your children. Some things you should do if your spouse wants a divorce include:

Ask Questions

You should ask questions to determine if the request is legitimate. If the only reason your spouse suggested you get a divorce is that you got into an argument, the request may not be legitimate. However, if the relationship has been unhappy for a while, or if something happened that wrecked the relationship, the request is probably legitimate.

Ask yourself if you have been thinking the same way but hiding your feelings from your spouse. Often, people are in denial of how they truly feel about their marriage because they want to save it. When they are forced to ask questions, they realize they are unhappy in the marriage themselves.


Often, when one spouse suggests a divorce, the other spouse focuses all of their attention on fixing the marriage. However, this can sometimes make things worse, particularly when only one partner is trying to fix the marriage. If your spouse wants a divorce even though you don’t, the best thing you can do is focus on promoting your best self.

This can be done through making positive changes in your life, speaking with a friend or family member, supporting your mental health through therapy, and figuring out what you want in life. If you have been reliant on your partner for income, it can be a good time to assess career options or go back to school.

Moving Forward With Divorce Proceedings

When the decision to get a divorce is final, take some steps to protect yourself and to get prepared for the proceedings. Failing to prepare for a divorce can lead to an unfavorable settlement. Being aware that a divorce settlement will affect the rest of your life and can massively affect your financial situation is key to a fair settlement.

Moving forward with a divorce and protecting yourself should include:

  • Figuring out what you want from the divorce settlement, including property rights, spousal support, child custody, and assets.
  • Making copies of all documents and paperwork relating to marital assets and property that you own.
  • Seeking temporary orders for child custody, spousal support, and remaining in the family home.
  • Seeking help from a financial advisor and legal professional.
  • Creating a personal bank account and moving your own funds into this account.
  • Changing the passwords on any personal accounts that your spouse has access to.

An experienced family law attorney can advise you on what preparations you should make when moving forward with divorce proceedings. The sooner you hire an attorney to prepare for a divorce, the better chance you have at getting a fair settlement.

Contested Divorce

Divorces in Texas are either no-fault or fault-based. Most couples opt for a no-fault divorce as it is one less requirement to prove in court. However, if your spouse is alleging adultery, abandonment, or cruelty, they may file for a fault-based divorce. With a fault-based divorce, you risk losing out on assets or property, and may not get a 50/50 split for marital property.

Even if it is a no-fault divorce, it is unlikely that you and your spouse will agree on all marital issues. Most divorces in Texas are contested, and couples must mediate or argue in court to resolve divorce issues, such as the division of property, child custody, spousal support, and who gets to keep the family home.

In a contested divorce, it is better when couples can negotiate a fair settlement through mediation. Sometimes, a Judge can appoint a mediator to the case who offers independent advice to the couple. You, your attorney, your partner, their attorney, and the mediator will sit in a room and try to come up with a fair divorce decree that works for both of you.

If a fair settlement cannot be achieved through mediation, the contested divorce will go to trial, and a Judge will decide on these matters. Because Judges deal with so many divorces every week, they do not have the time to consider the individual circumstances of each case. Because of this, having an attorney that can petition on your behalf is vital.

Should I Ignore The Divorce Petition?

Receiving notification in the mail that your partner wants a divorce can come as a major shock. If you were not expecting this, you may try to speak with your partner before responding to the petition or ignore it, hoping they will rescind the petition.

Ignoring a divorce petition is the worst thing you can do, even if you do not want a divorce. If you ignore the petition for long enough, your spouse can request a default judgment by the Judge and grant the divorce on terms that are not favorable to you..

By ignoring a divorce petition, you risk losing out on your property, assets, spousal support, and a fair child custody arrangement. It is quite difficult to get a default judgment overturned, so there is a risk of permanently losing out on assets you are entitled to.

If you receive a divorce petition when you were not expecting it, the first thing to do is contact a divorce attorney. They will advise you on your rights and ensure you respond to the petition in a timely manner.

How a Divorce Attorney Can Help

Many people are reluctant to hire divorce attorneys, as they believe that doing so makes the situation worse. In reality, hiring a divorce attorney is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your assets in a divorce proceeding. Without legal representation, it is easy to get caught up in the emotional side of divorce and agree to a settlement that is not in your best interests.

Regardless of what type of relationship you have with your husband or wife, a divorce attorney will act as your protector and advocate. Your attorney can help you understand the divorce process, explain your legal rights, advise you on your entitlements, help you file documents on time, and petition on your behalf. During mediation sessions, they will represent your best interests and help promote effective communication.

The job of a good divorce attorney is to make the divorce process easier for you. When you are not expecting a divorce, or do not want to divorce, the process can be a lot more difficult. Your attorney will manage the legal side on your behalf so that you can focus on your well-being and ensure that you can move forward with your life after the divorce.

Contact The Divorce Lawyers at Skillern Firm Today!

When only one spouse wants to end the marriage, it can be incredibly difficult. Many issues that you have not considered must be resolved in a divorce, including who gets to stay in the family home, who gets primary custody of the children, and whether one spouse can still support the other spouse financially.

On top of this, the heartbreak of going through a divorce that you did not want can make it difficult to see clearly. Often, people lose sight of themselves when going through a divorce and do not take care of their mental well-being.

If you are facing a divorce that you were not expecting, the most important thing to do is hire an experienced divorce lawyer. At Skillern Firm, we have helped hundreds of clients through situations similar to yours. We understand that each separation is unique and that all of our clients’ needs are different. Our lawyers care about your future and want to help you find hope on the other side of a divorce.

Our law firm has been helping clients all over Texas for many years and our attorneys are well-recognized for their achievements. Four of the attorneys in our law firm are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This recognition is given to just 1% of family law lawyers within the state and is a testament to their hard work and dedication.

When going through a divorce, it is important to have strong legal representation.

Call Skillern Firm today for a consultation at 936-213-8479.