If you are divorcing in Arizona, your divorce may be delayed by your spouse. Your spouse has filed motion after motion, or they are playing games. Or, maybe you’re listening to someone else’s divorce story and you fear even moving forward. You know that if you move forward with your divorce, your spouse may try to play games. If you have not yet considered collaborative process, which is also called collaborative divorce or collaborative law, check it out at www.bestlegalchoices.com. You and your spouse can find independent, unique and well-trained collaborative professionals here.
Strategies Your Spouse May Use to Delay Your Divorce
- Withholding documents is a common divorce stalling strategy. You asked for specific information like your spouse’s business records, and their responses are incomplete at best.
- Your spouse doesn’t disclose other important financial information, or mischaracterizes certain expenses. “I always shop at Victoria’s Secret for my business!” isn’t something the judge will believe.
- Your spouse requests extensions of court deadlines in your divorce.
- Your spouse arrives at mediation unprepared. After all, you may frustrated enough to just throw in the towel and settle the divorce.
- Your spouse immediately moves money and blocks you from access to all accounts. This won’t help your spouse in the long run, because your divorce court judge has already seen it all. But, it’s still infinitely frustrating to pay a lawyer to ask for what is one-half yours. The judge won’t like it much either!
It can feel like you are on one of these rides:
Your Spouse’s Motivations For Delay May Be Obvious – Or Not
- Your spouse wants to hurt you. Deep down, they know this is the only way they can hurt you. It’s payback.
- Your spouse wants to frame the reasons for divorce to justify their own bad behavior. Is your spouse in a position of esteem or higher visibility? Chances are, they want their image to remain untarnished. Don’t worry, the truth will come out.
- This may connect with #2, but your spouse may not want the lifestyle you have to end. Even when it’s clear the relationship is over, your spouse dreads a new reality. You may have been the only thing that makes them look normal to everyone else.
No matter the motivation, this is incredibly frustrating in a divorce.
Is there Anything You Can Do To Move Your Divorce Past Delay, Population 2?
- Don’t give up. Keep persisting. I once was the recipient of 59 phone calls overnight by a former boyfriend. It’s hard to admit that, because it’s really stalking, but people get stalked and now I’m wiser to the signals. When the boyfriend started to call again while I was at work, my friend stopped me. “Don’t,” she said and yanked the phone away. “Answer now, and he knows he just has to call you 60 times to get you to answer.” I realized I needed to change my phone number, but I never forgot that moment.
- There are motions that can be filed to move the divorce forward and financial penalties for delay.
- Ask for sanctions or lawyers’ fees. The judge may say no the first time, but if they see a pattern, they may force your spouse to write a check – hoping it is the last such incident.
- Ask the judge for an admonition of your spouse. I’ve been yelled at by a judge before. Later, that same judge apologized and admitted to being out of line, but the experience made the blood drain out of my upper extremities for a few moments while I recovered. This public humiliation will be “on the record” and will take them right back to embarrassing moments of their childhood.
Examine The Real Motivations For Your Spouse’s Behavior
You married this person, so you know where every button is located and exactly when to push them. Overlook that education from the years you spent married, and you paid for the education without learning anything! Someone once told me, “the underlying feeling in everyone is fear.” Fear of what? For me, in collaborative law, it’s fear that I will help destroy a family when I could use my education, training and extensive experience to help keep children from experiencing pain. I have a personal motivation to protect kids. I fear kids will be hurt in divorce. What’s your spouse’s fear? And where is that button? Find the button, and press it to get your spouse to consider collaborative divorce.
Collaborative Divorce is a different path to the same outcome. Here are the essentials of a collaborative divorce case:
- Each side retains their own lawyer.
- Each lawyer commits in writing, with the clients, to keep the case out of court. The lawyers are barred from litigating for the clients except in extreme situations.
- The lawyers file a document telling the court, in a nutshell, “Step aside – we’ve got it from here.”
- You may choose a neutral financial expert or a communication specialist. The communication specialist can be worth their weight in gold. They may save you thousands of dollars and several hours in stalemate positions and impasses. The financial expert will examine everything – and find what hasn’t been disclosed – and then prepare a report for the lawyers.
- The lawyers sit down with clients, and maybe the experts, and brainstorm based on a legal foundation. We, the lawyers, say what your judge may do, what other judges have done, and we research legal precedent to create solutions you can live with.
There is no wrong time to enter collaborative divorce, but there is an ideal time. Before you file, before you each see lawyers, just ask your spouse, “would you consider collaborative process?”
Here Are The Reasons For Collaborative Process:
- You are in a marriage crisis, and you want to be sure you both don’t make the situation worse. Divorce is like quicksand – the more movement, the more you sink. Collaborative law is like finding the bottom of that sand.
- You may want to reconcile, but you want to know your legal rights if you divorce or get a legal separation.
- You want privacy. You want safety. You want a cocoon around you and your family while you navigate this really rough, messy situation. You want to be able to melt down without anything sticking.
- You think divorce mediation is a good option, but you want to be sure you both get independent legal advice from great lawyers who won’t compound the problems.
- You keep having the same conversation over and over, and you want have a frank conversation for the first time in years. This way, if you can’t reconcile, at least you know why you really divorced. If you can reconcile, you know collaborative process will help you avoid divorce.