Going through a divorce is frustrating, and one of the most frequent complaints is that the process takes a long time. As a rule, the divorcing couple just wants to get it done and over with. As it happens, the frustrated couple may be inadvertently contributing to the unfortunate delay.
Some of the main reasons the divorce process may move at a snail’s pace are as follows:
Taking Advice from Friends and Family
It is common for friends and family to provide “helpful” advice and information on the best course of action for you to take. They may be well-meaning, but the fact is, unless there is a divorce attorney among the group, you may be getting and acting on, wrong information. Each divorce case is different, and what worked for your cousin may be absolutely the worse course of action for you to take. It is best to take advice only from an experienced divorce attorney.
Not Listening to Your Attorney
It is easy to misinterpret what an attorney says when you are overwhelmed emotionally. He or she may be giving perfectly good advice, but you only focus on the snippets that you want to hear and feel, “He or she doesn’t understand!” You may want your attorney to agree that your spouse is a terrible so and so, but he or she will only deal with facts, and not emotions. Your attorney will do whatever is necessary to get the best possible deal in the divorce but will not help you “get” your spouse. As a general rule, the more you are able to control your anger, the quicker the divorce will happen.
Keep Secrets from Your Attorney
A divorce can involve a few very personal and embarrassing secrets. If you decide to hold back from telling your attorney about an affair, because you are embarrassed, or if you have money stashed and are afraid of losing it, your attorney will be unable to act in your best interest. To an attorney, knowledge is power in the courtroom. When you keep information from him or her, your attorney will find it difficult to believe anything you have to say.
Don’t Face the Children as Partners
Eventually during the divorce, you will need to tell the children what is going on. This is a critical moment in the process and should be done correctly. Most importantly, it should be done by both partners as a team. You may be splitting up, but you are still a parental unit. If one parent speaks to the children without informing the other, the partner is quite likely to become angry and resentful and less willing to be cooperative when it comes to custody and support issues. This can mean a longer, more drawn-out battle in court. Any divorce that ends up in court will naturally prolong the process. And the more a couple argues, the greater the attorneys’ bills will be.
Allow Yourself to be Guided by Feelings
Divorce is about feelings – feeling betrayed, feeling angry, and feeling overwhelmed with pain. Your feelings are absolutely valid, and you need to work your way through them, with a counselor, if necessary. However, it is a bad idea for these feelings to affect discussions about assets and other important issues. The financial aspects of divorce can become especially confusing. Becoming unreasonable will only delay the unfortunate process.
Delays will also happen when a party moves and doesn’t disclose the new address and prevents the court from serving the divorce papers. If the court does not have your correct address, it won’t stop the divorce, but it can delay it.
A divorce can also get delayed by arguments over the cause of the split. While the umbrella reason usually given is “irreconcilable differences,” couples can waste time arguing over whether to include adultery or abuse.
Divorce is rarely an easy process, and few people wish to prolong it. By consulting and being honest with an experienced divorce attorney and keeping emotions at a minimum, a divorce has a much greater chance of progressing smoothly through the system.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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