Won’t give permission

“My spouse told me they won’t give me a divorce.”

I hear that a lot at initial consultations.

These new clients are always surprised and relieved when I advise them that they don’t need their spouses’ permission to get a divorce in Florida! True, a resisting spouse can make the divorce process slower, more upsetting, more expensive, etc. – but the resisting spouse cannot prevent the divorce in Florida.

So why do so many clients arrive with the mistaken belief that their spouse can stand in the way of the divorce they so desperately want?

Sometimes neither spouse is familiar with Florida divorce law. Perhaps they are from another state or country, where the law is different. Or perhaps they just have no personal experience with divorce in Florida.

Often, however, the resisting spouse knows his or her permission is not necessary. The resisting spouse also knows that the other spouse doesn’t know it.

Sometimes the resisting spouse has actually purposefully cut the other spouse off from reliable information – or even brainwashed the other spouse with false information.

Sadly, such manipulative tactics are increasingly commonplace among a growing class of spouses I call controlling spouses. This type of controlling behavior is a form of domestic abuse.