How long is this divorce going to take? How much is this divorce going to cost me? These are questions that we hear from many of our new clients during the initial consultation. Even though delaying the divorce means higher fees for both parties, some spouses will do whatever is in their power to stall the process.
There are countless reasons a spouse might try to delay divorce proceedings, such as:
- Unhappiness about the divorce
- Desire to make the divorce process as long and difficult as possible
- Revenge or punishment
- Fear about losing support
- Fears about custody arrangements
- Hope of a financial gain
When your former partner attempts to delay the divorce out of spite, what he or she is really doing is attempting to gain power over you. This could be because he or she feels powerless or anxious about the future – or it could be a way of causing you pain.
What are some common divorce delay tactics?
A spouse who does not want to cooperate with a divorce proceeding has many options at their disposal to delay progress. Some of the more common ways to stall handling their participation in the process include:
- Rescheduling at the last minute due to health issues
- Avoiding service of process
- Failure to respond to discovery requests
- Failing to sign documents
- Refusal to return emails, phone calls or text messages
- Filing frivolous motions
- Changing lawyers
- Cancelling mediation sessions at the last minute
What are your options when you are facing stalling tactics during your Maryland divorce?
Understand that we have seen this behavior countless times before. That is why we tell our clients to let us handle it. More times than not, a client who attempts to bring his or her former partner to the table, when that partner is purposely attempting to delay, will not be successful. That is why you hired us – to help guide you through the process, and to ensure that the process moves forward as smoothly as possible.
If your spouse fails to participate in the divorce process, you have options. You are not required to remain married to someone if it is your desire to be divorced. At some point, he or she will have run down the clock and respond. If this takes too long, you can request that the judge issue a default judgment so that you can finalize the divorce. The court would first issue an order of default, which essentially says that the plaintiff has prevailed because the defendant failed to participate in the case.
The judge can see what your spouse is doing. If your spouse is simply trying to obstruct the process, the judge has the option to order that he or she pay additional attorney fees and court costs associated with the delays. A judge can compel participation in depositions or mediation conferences, and the judge can impose additional sanctions to ensure compliance with the court’s orders.
This is a situation where having a strong advocate for a divorce attorney will help to shield you from your spouse’s vengeful attempts to deny you the right to divorce, if that is your intention.
McCabe Russell, PA is a trusted family law firm focused on protecting our clients’ interests. Our team of skilled divorce attorneys in Columbia have worked with families of all types and income levels, throughout Howard County. You are welcome to call 443-917-3347 or fill out this contact form to reserve a consultation time. We also maintain offices in Fulton, Rockville and Bethesda to serve you.