When most couples are ready to be done with their marriage, there’s nothing they want more than a quick divorce.
Unfortunately, where divorce is concerned, it’s easier to slow things down than to speed things up. Knowing more about what can cause delays can help you manage your expectations and avoid a few pitfalls. Some of the biggest stumbling blocks toward a speedy divorce include the following.
Lack of agreement about assets
When couples cannot come to a consensus on the division of their property and the allocation of their debts, that often leads to prolonged negotiations and court battles. An inability (or unwillingness) on either party’s side to compromise can quickly turn an uncontested divorce into a contested one – and that means litigation, which is much slower.
Complicated financial issues
When couples have substantial assets, investments or business interests, untangling the financial threads requires a lot of work. The valuation process of a business, for example, may involve financial experts or forensic accountants to ensure a fair distribution of assets, and they need time to do their work.
Child custody disputes
When parents cannot agree on custody arrangements, the court may need to intervene to determine the best interests of the child. This can involve professional evaluations, the appointment of a guardian ad litem and interviews with both parents and the child, all of which can extend the divorce timeline.
Disagreements about alimony
Determining alimony (spousal support) can be another contentious issue in divorce cases. Calculating the appropriate amount – and the duration support should last – usually requires a thorough examination of each spouse’s financial situation, including their income, basic living expenses and future earning potential. Disagreements over these details can lead to extensive delays.
Emotional and psychological factors
High levels of conflict, resentment or a desire for revenge can lead to prolonged disputes. In some cases, one spouse may deliberately slow down the proceedings by stalling, sometimes in a desperate attempt to stop the divorce – and sometimes out of spite. Refusing to respond to communications, asking for continuances in court and generally being uncooperative are all major time-wasters.
Remember that while a swift divorce may be ideal, it’s also important to prioritize your own interests – and, sometimes, that means taking things slowly. Learning more about how the process works by seeking legal guidance can help you figure out your best course of action.