How Long Can a Spouse Drag Out a Divorce?

How Long Can a Spouse Drag Out a Divorce?

Effects of Sneaky Divorce Tactics

Divorce is never easy, even if it is uncontested. Spouses don’t always see eye-to-eye on every aspect of their divorce. That is to be expected. But what makes matters worse is when one spouse drags out the divorce on purpose. Maybe they didn’t agree on ending the marriage, want to get revenge, or want to stall the divorce in the hopes that the filing spouse will eventually change their mind. Other reasons a spouse may want to drag out a divorce include:

  • They hope for financial gain
  • They want to hide their assets
  • They disagree about child custody and support arrangements
  • They hope to pressure the other spouse into agreeing to their terms
  • They want to obtain the majority of marital assets out of fear of financial instability
  • The spouse’s family or new partner influenced them to stall the divorce because they disagreed with the terms of the settlement

Whatever the reason may be, the bottom line is that dragging out a divorce is costly for both parties.

Emotions and tensions already run high in these matters, whether or not a divorce is prolonged. For this reason, sneaky divorce tactics such as dragging out the process can do more harm than good. Besides the emotional impacts, the financial consequences of dragging out a divorce can be substantial.

Since divorce lawyers are paid by the hour, both sides will have to pay the price when a divorce proceeding is prolonged. In extremely serious cases, one spouse may go bankrupt and thus, not be able to afford a lawyer. No lawyer means lower chances of a favorable outcome. Not to mention, the spouses’ children could suffer damage from their parents’ animosity. The longer a divorce takes to finalize, the longer the children wait in limbo.

It’s a lose-lose.

Every case is different, but over the years, our divorce attorneys have seen a number of sneaky divorce tactics used by spouses. Common tactics include:

  • Avoiding service of court papers
  • Making false accusations for personal gain
  • Ignoring their attorneys or hiring new ones
  • Jumping around between new attorneys
  • Failing to sign documents
  • Ignoring calls, texts, emails, etc.
  • Filing useless motions in court
  • Making unreasonable demands
  • Canceling or rescheduling meetings last-minute

What to Do If Your Spouse Is Stalling Your Divorce

If you’re wondering how long your spouse can drag out the divorce, the honest answer is “it depends.” Typically, a contested divorce in Georgia can last for 6 months to many years. We wish we could tell you otherwise, but it’s important to understand the worst-case scenario in your case.

Don’t be discouraged, though. You have options.

With the help of a lawyer, you can request a court hearing to discuss your obstacles with a judge. Talking to a judge will help them understand what you’re up against and, as a result, they could impose court orders against your uncooperative spouse. These court orders may concern alimony, child support, custody, and restraining order requirements during your divorce proceeding. For example, a judge may order your spouse to pay alimony and child support to you until the divorce is finalized, or the order may require the spouse to appear in court on a certain date to address the delays.

If your spouse violates these court orders in any way, a judge may charge them with contempt of court, which could essentially “scare” your spouse into compliance. The thought of going to jail might be enough to convince your spouse to drop their sneak tactics and comply with the process.

Your attorney can also request your non-compliant spouse to pay your attorney fees as part of the divorce settlement to help compensate for your financial losses. Since you are not responsible for the delays in your divorce, a judge may see fit to award you attorney fees.

Our family and divorce lawyers have helped countless clients achieve a divorce in a timely, amicable fashion. If your spouse is being difficult, we can help address these issues in court and negotiate for a favorable outcome on your behalf as a result. To learn more, reach us at (866) 580-3089!