There is nothing like ending a marriage that brings out the worst in some people. If you have ever seen the 1989 movie “The War of The Roses,” then you understand just how bad things can get. While literally dividing a mansion by square footage and turning it into a cage match ring is pretty unrealistic, for couples with an axe to grind, divorce can become something of a game. For other couples, their actions during their divorce are about principle.
There are so many reasons why a spouse might choose to deploy delaying tactics during your divorce. You want it over with and to get on with your life, and you assume your impending ex does too. That just doesn’t always wind up being the case. Some people have trouble letting go and starting over because they quite literally cannot understand where everything went wrong. Others are hurt and angry, and willing to let those feelings drive his or her behavior, no matter how toxic it becomes.
Common delaying tactics in contested and high-conflict divorce
- Discovery games: Part of the divorce process involves participating in something called discovery. Basically, this is a legal tool designed to obtain information related to your case that you do not already possess. It can be useful in trying to come to a reasonable settlement, or, if that isn’t possible, to be used at trial.
The discovery process has to be completed before your case can move into the next phase. Without receiving the information you are asking for, your case will essentially be at a standstill until you can force your spouse to cooperate. Having an attorney will not guarantee that discovery will be seamless, but it certainly will give you more power in the situation to get the documentation that you are entitled to receive.
- Backpedalling on settlement negotiations: The primary goal before finalizing your divorce is to come to an agreement on everything from child custody and support, to who will walk away with that new, big-screen television sitting in the family room. If you can manage this feat, you can avoid the stress and expense of a trial, or having a judge make those life-altering decisions.
You may finally feel like you and your spouse are getting somewhere on hot button issues, until he or she suddenly changes his or her mind out of nowhere. This kickstarts the cycle of arguing and negotiating, in the hopes that you can once again come to some sort of middle ground.
- Not responding to scheduling requests: Another method for dragging out a divorce is to simply ignore requests to schedule everything from depositions and mediation, to hearings. Volleying emails and phone calls back and forth trying to set a date that works for everyone involved can be trying even when both sides are willing to participate. Just imagine the frustration that builds when one side refuses to even respond. That may be the goal of your spouse, or it could be that he or she is simply trying to remain in denial that the 2 of you are finished.
- Hiding from process servers: There are absolute facts in life when dealing with a divorce; having to serve a complaint or other legal document on your spouse being one of them. Until he or she has received the document by a process server, or other effective means of service under the rules of civil procedure, the entire process is stalled.
If you have been contemplating divorce, the sooner you speak with an attorney to get your questions answered, the better protected you will be. Let one of the Nashville divorce attorneys from Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC provide the support you need when facing the end of your marriage. We welcome you to reach out to us through our contact page, or by calling us at 615-391-4200 to reserve a consultation today.