Steps to Take if Your Spouse Is Delaying Your Divorce

Man Holding His Wedding Ring in His HandsIf you have decided to file an at-fault divorce in Virginia, you want to complete the process as quickly as possible and move on in your life. However, your spouse could try to delay the divorce. Fortunately, you can take steps to combat your partner’s delaying tactics.

Why Your Spouse May Employ Stalling Tactics

There are many reasons your spouse could try to delay finalizing your divorce. They include:

  • Your spouse does not want to divorce and hopes to change your mind.
  • Your spouse is angry about the divorce and wants to make you suffer as much as possible out of spite or to punish you.
  • Your spouse is afraid of losing your financial support or custody of your children.
  • Your spouse is attempting to obtain a financial gain through their delay tactics. They may try to increase your attorney fees, delay paying child support or alimony, or hide assets to accomplish their goal.

Common Delay Tactics Used in Divorces

There are many ways a spouse can try to prolong divorce proceedings. Some common ways to watch out for include:

  • Rescheduling court hearings at the last minute
  • Avoiding being served with the divorce papers
  • Failing to answer the complaint or to respond to discovery requests
  • Refusing to sign documents needed to complete the divorce
  • Not responding to calls, texts, or emails
  • Filing frivolous motions
  • Changing lawyers in the middle of your case
  • Refusing to attend mediation

How to Handle Your Spouse’s Delaying Tactics

Even if your spouse is trying to delay your divorce, you do not have to remain married forever. You have options for keeping the divorce on track. Here are some tips on what to do:

  • Don’t show your anger. You will not help the situation by letting your spouse know that their stalling techniques are making you angry and frustrated. It may encourage them to delay the process even longer.
  • Obtain a default judgment. If your spouse fails to answer your complaint for divorce, you may be able to file a motion and ask the judge to allow you to obtain a default judgment of divorce.
  • Notify your lawyer. You should retain a skilled family law attorney and notify them of any delay tactics your spouse is using. They can file motions in court asking that your spouse be ordered to respond to your discovery requests. They can also ask the judge to impose financial sanctions if they do not comply with court orders or file frivolous motions.
  • Compromise. Depending on the compromises you may need to make to finalize your divorce, you may decide it is in your best interests to compromise on issues you are fighting about with your spouse.

Is your spouse using these or other stalling tactics in your divorce?  Our experienced family law lawyers are here to protect your rights and help you complete your divorce. Call our Norfolk office at 877-960-3441 or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today.


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