When is a divorce decree actually “entered” and how does that process work? If a year of separation has passed, can one spouse end the marriage without the other spouse having any heads up or time to respond?
Once the year and a day has passed, either spouse can go file for the divorce. The other spouse has to be served, then after 30 days, whether they like it or not, the divorce can go through. If there are other items pending (like ED), then those can continue on after the divorce is finalized. If the divorce is finalized and no claim for ED has been established, then the window closes and it cannot be opened.
So, yes, a spouse can file for divorce without giving the other a heads up, but they have have to be served, and have 30 days (I believe) to respond to the papers.
not an attorney
After a year and a day of separation either spouse can file for divorce, and the Defendant spouse has to be noticed and given an opportunity to respond.