How Long Can My Spouse Drag Out the Divorce?

Sneaky Divorce Tactics: Is Your Spouse Stalling the Divorce?

Divorce can be long and messy, but this doesn’t just happen by itself. There is always a reason.

As much as you want to think that it “takes two” to prolong a divorce, that’s not always the case. Often, one spouse goes out of their way to drag out a divorce they didn’t want in the first place, causing the other spouse to wait around for months and even years to get the divorce they long awaited.

But that comes at a cost.

Besides the emotional costs, the financial losses can get overwhelming. Spouses must continue paying attorney’s fees even when their soon-to-be-ex delays the divorce proceeding on purpose. Divorce lawyers are typically paid by the hour, so if your spouse is intentionally dragging out your divorce, both sides will pay. In serious cases, one spouse could go bankrupt and lose their lawyer. Without a lawyer, the chances of suffering an unfavorable outcome could skyrocket.

So, how do spouses delay their divorces? Common tactics include:

  • Avoiding service of court papers
  • Ignoring their attorneys
  • Jumping around between new attorneys
  • Filing useless motions in court
  • Making unreasonable demands

What Can I Do If My Spouse Is Holding Up the Divorce?

Many clients with uncooperative spouses ask us, “How long can my spouse drag out the divorce?”

We wish we could tell you. There is no deadline on divorce, so your spouse could delay the process for months and even years depending on the circumstances of your situation. However, you don’t have to sit around while your spouse takes their time.

With the help of a lawyer, you can request a court hearing to address these issues. You could also request attorney’s fees from your spouse, as you are not responsible for the delays. Should they disobey court orders, a judge may file contempt of court charges against your spouse. The thought of potentially going to jail may encourage your spouse to comply with the process.

Dirty Divorce Tricks

Emotions and tensions run high during a divorce, and spouses may resort to “low-blows” as a result. Examples of tactics people use to complicate and drag out their divorce include:

  • Hiding money
  • Cancelling credit cards
  • Stalking
  • Refusing to respond to the divorce petition
  • Requesting sole custody
  • Alleging domestic violence
  • Making appointments with the same attorney
  • Increasing marital debts
  • Leaving the other spouse with nothing
  • Relocating with the kids

Is Your Spouse Giving You Trouble?

If you are contemplating or filing for divorce, prepare for the worst. Things can get ugly. Our Orange County divorce attorneys have seen it all and prepare for it all, so we can help address any roadblocks you experience along the way.

Give us a call at (845) 605-4330 to tell us your situation and learn how we can help!

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