How long can a spouse drag out a divorce?
We get this question a lot.
And there are numerous variables.
In this article, you’ll learn:
So, let’s dig in.
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There are certain things a spouse can do to drag out a divorce.
But how long can a spouse drag out a divorce?
A spouse can drag out divorce for months or years.
We have had clients whose spouses dragged out their divorce for 3 years.
There is no limit to how long can a spouse drag out a divorce.
Divorces do not have any time limits.
And a spouse can easily drag out a divorce by:
There’s no telling how long a spouse can drag out a divorce.
But an experienced divorce lawyer can push things along by:
A spouse who is intentionally delaying divorce can get a default judgment.
When a spouse is intentionally delaying divorce, the judge can order them to pay your attorney fees.
The judge can also order your spouse to comply with mediations and depositions.
If your spouse does not comply, they can be held in contempt.
To recap, if your spouse is intentionally delaying divorce, the judge can:
If your spouse is dragging out divorce, you need to have your attorney schedule a hearing with the judge.
Related: How to Leave Your Husband
Divorces usually take so long because one spouse drags out the divorce.
A spouse can drag out a divorce by contesting issues like:
You can speed up how long a divorce takes when a spouse is dragging out a divorce.
You can either:
An experienced divorce lawyer will be able to push your divorce case along.
But they cannot stop your spouse from dragging out a divorce.
They can work with the judge to get court orders for your spouse to comply.
These court orders can be for divorce and child custody mediation.
And if your spouse does not comply, they can get held in contempt.
But what if your spouse won’t come to an agreement in mediation?
The mediator will give the judge their recommendation for the outcome.
And, most of the time, the judge will make that the court orders.
And they will finalize the divorce from there.
Related: Questions to Ask A Divorce Lawyer
If one party doesn’t agree, a divorce can take as little as 30 days to complete.
This is because if one party doesn’t agree to the divorce, they may not sign the papers.
And the judge will give you a default divorce if one party doesn’t respond to the papers.
But how long does a divorce take if the party contests the divorce?
On average, a divorce will take 12+ months if one party doesn’t agree.
And a highly contested divorce can take multiple years.
A couple can decide that they want to try to work things out AFTER they have filed for divorce.
To put a divorce on hold, they need to file a Motion To Abate.
But, how long can a divorce be put on hold?
You can put the divorce on hold for up to 90 days.
Putting the divorce on hold for 90 days gives the couple time to:
After a divorce has been put on hold, the couple needs to file a Motion to Continue.
This will remove the hold on the divorce and get the proceedings rolling again.
Related: Wife Moves Out Before Divorce
Some spouses try to drag out a divorce by not signing divorce papers.
If your spouse won’t sign divorce papers, you can get a default judgment for your divorce.
Your spouse has 30 days to respond to the divorce petition being served.
After 30 days have passed, you may file a request to enter a default judgment for your divorce.
If your spouse won’t sign divorce papers, the judge will schedule a default judgment hearing.
At this hearing, the judge will most likely give you everything you asked for in the divorce petition.
If your spouse won’t sign divorce papers, they give up the right to have any say in the outcome.
A spouse has to sign divorce papers to avoid a default judgment.
Related: How Long Does Alimony Last
There really is not a limit for how long can you drag out a divorce.
That’s the minimum amount of time a spouse can drag out a divorce.
But a spouse can drag out a divorce for years.
You can drag out a divorce by being a difficult spouse during the divorce.
Related: Family Law Attorney Payment Plans
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