If you want a divorce, but your spouse is uncooperative, do not worry. Since New York is a no-fault state which allows one spouse to file for divorce on the grounds that the marriage partners have irreconcilable differences, even if the other spouse is opposed to the divorce. The paperwork that begins this process is called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition along with certain other documents, must be properly served on the uncooperative spouse by either sheriff or process server. If the spouse fails to respond to the Petition within 20 days (plus clerks usually allow an extra 5 days for mailing) then you can request a default judgment from the clerk. If there are children involved the clerk will most likely deny the default and then you must obtain a judicial default that only the judge can provide. Either way, a spouse cannot force you to stay married to them.
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