Is Your Spouse Delaying Your Divorce?
While your spouse may have any number of misguided reasons for delaying – or attempting to delay – your divorce, the practice can be costly, emotionally draining, and exasperating – at best. While a complicated divorce is never a speedy endeavor, there are some telltale signs that your divorcing spouse may be intentionally delaying the process.
To begin your divorce, you will need to serve your spouse with divorce papers, which does not have to be done formally if they are willing to agree to the service. If this is not an option and your spouse is doing everything within his or her power to avoid official service, it is very likely an attempt to delay or complicate the divorce process.
Failing to or Refusing to Sign Paperwork
Every divorce must address the same fundamental issues (as applicable), including:
The division of community property (also called marital property)
Child custody arrangements (called conservatorship in Texas)
Alimony (called spousal maintenance in Texas)
If you and your soon-to-be-ex have hammered out terms that you are both willing to sign off on – but your spouse has failed to sign off on them (in the form of the necessary paperwork) – he or she may be stalling.
Cancelling Court or Mediation Dates
There are many legitimate reasons why someone would need to reschedule a mediation or court date – after all, life has a way of intervening. However, if your spouse makes it a regular practice, it is very likely predicated on stalling the divorce process.
Delaying the Discovery Process
Discovery refers to the process of sharing important information and documents – often financial in nature – which helps both parties better understand what they are dealing with and how best to protect their financial rights moving forward. If your spouse consistently provides too little (information) too late, it is almost certainly a delay tactic for which the court can sanction them.
Having Inferior Counsel
If your divorcing spouse’s divorce attorney is unresponsive, uninterested in the case, or incapable of addressing the divorce issues involved in your case in a timely and compliant manner, it can amount to a stalling tactic – whether intentional or not.
While rushing your divorce is generally not a good idea, unnecessary delays can be disheartening. They can leave you more vulnerable to accepting terms that do not serve your best interests. Your dedicated divorce attorney will see through your divorcing spouse’s stalling tactics and will take the necessary strategic steps to effectively and efficiently address the issue.