By: Mary Ellen Flynn, Esq.
Going through a contested divorce isn’t easy. It can take several months to years before it is finalized based on the issues between the spouses. There are many reasons why your divorce could be delayed.
Here are 4 factors that will impact your divorce and how to get your divorce moving forward.
1. Many people have a difficult time moving forward and coming to the realization that their marriage is over.
They hold onto hope that reconciliation is possible. It is common for a spouse to not agree to anything to establish custody or divide marital assets because they can’t emotionally move forward. In these situations, your attorney can keep your divorce moving forward by filing appropriate motions with the court, ensuring your case doesn’t sit.
2. Bitterness and anger from one spouse will also delay your divorce.
Your spouse may be so angry that they will take steps to draw out and cause more headaches. Often spouses will purposely not respond to pleadings and will cause you to incur additional legal fees to keep your divorce moving forward. Talk with your attorney about asking the court to order your spouse to pay a portion of your legal fees if your spouse takes steps that purposely delay your divorce.
3. Not timely or fully responding to discovery requests can delay a divorce.
In a contested divorce, you will have to produce records from the past several years through the court’s “discovery” process. If you don’t timely and fully produce those documents, then a delay in your divorce may occur. Additionally, not correctly responding to discovery will cause additional legal fees and motions to be filed, again delaying your case from moving forward.
4. Settling can save you significant legal fees.
However, going through mediation and settlement negotiations can take time. Emotions run high, and assets and liabilities must be disclosed and exchanged to ensure that all marital issues are resolved. Talk to your lawyer early on about what you propose for settlement so that negotiations can be ongoing in conjunction with the court-required deadlines.
Getting divorced doesn’t happen overnight, but you don’t want to take any additional steps to cause delay. Delaying your divorce doesn’t stop your divorce from happening; it will merely cause you more legal fees and headaches. Ensure that you follow the court-ordered deadlines and talk with your attorney about what you can do to avoid unnecessary delays.
Founded in 1998 in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Andalman & Flynn has forged a distinguished reputation for legal excellence. The Firm practices family law, estate planning, and probate throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia, and represents individuals seeking disability benefits throughout the country. The Firm focuses on cases that impact the rights of everyone, and are there for clients when responsive legal help is most critical. The Firm has provided legal analysis on national and local television and radio, and their attorneys often testify before legislative bodies and are routinely invited to contribute to prominent legal publications. For more information about Andalman & Flynn, please visit the website at andalmanflynn.com or call 301.563.6685.