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When Your Ex Is Dragging Out Your Divorce

Rundberg Law, LLC May 23, 2023

Young Woman Sitting on Sofa at Home and Ignoring Her HusbandOnce you decide that there is nothing you can do to preserve your marriage, you want to conclude the process. That way, you can get a life without your spouse on track and put the marriage behind you. You have come to terms with making a fresh start and you want it to begin.  

In some cases, though, exes seem to slow down the process. If yours is, it can get extremely frustrating. If you can figure out why your spouse is dragging their feet, maybe you can figure out how to get things moving forward.  

At Rundberg Law, LLC, clients often ask me, “What are my rights when my spouse is dragging out the divorce?” It is a fair question. If you are wondering why your spouse is prolonging your divorce in Overland Park or anywhere in Johnson County, Kansas, or the metro area, I may be able to get to the root of the problem and get your divorce back on track. Rundberg Law, LLC also serves clients in Missouri as well.  

What Are Some Common Stalling Tactics in Divorce? 

Divorces are not completed overnight. Even in an uncontested divorce, it takes time to gather all the documentation required and reach agreements regarding the division of marital assets and debts, child custody, and parenting plans. There is a mandatory waiting period of 60 days in Kansas and 30 days in Missouri before the court can grant a divorce. Some people nonetheless use the process to delay the inevitable.  

Common stalling tactics begin with the service of the divorce petition. A spouse can live at an undisclosed address, so you have to locate them. They may change jobs without telling you. They may hide to avoid being served with divorce papers.  

Once they are served, a spouse may find ways to delay the filing of an answer to the petition. In Kansas, they have 21 days from service of the petition, and in Missouri, they have 30 days. They may not file an answer in that timeframe, which means you can ask the court to enter a default judgment in your favor. However, if your spouse files a response with the court, even if it is tardy, the court will often then give them time to file a formal answer.  

A spouse may refuse attempts to negotiate contested items in your divorce or not show up for appointments with your divorce attorney or for mediation, forcing them to be rescheduled.  

A spouse may withhold documents or not sign documents in a timely manner. They may miss court appearances or file rescheduling requests repeatedly with the court, asking for more time for any number of contrived reasons.  

A spouse may refuse to agree on any contested matters, forcing you to schedule court hearings to air each one.  

There are a lot of ways someone can stall the process. There are reasons why they may want to. 

Why Would a Spouse Want to Stall a Divorce? 

If you are asking, “Why is my spouse stalling our divorce?”, there could be one or more reasons, beginning with a desire to punish you for wanting one in the first place. If your spouse does not want a divorce, no matter how untenable the marriage has become, they may prolong the process at every turn to make you wait for it to be over.  

Your spouse may also be stalling for financial reasons. Maybe they’re waiting for you to receive a bonus or promotion to increase the marital income that will later be divided or if they want you to pay spousal support. Perhaps they want to delay the selling of the marital home to get more money for it. They may simply be motivated by a goal to wear you down so you will agree to give them more in terms of child custody, assets, or spousal support.  

How Can I Keep the Divorce Moving Along? 

In most cases, the best way to keep your divorce on track is to ask the court to intervene. The court may sanction a spouse with a pattern of avoidance and delay. The court may find a spouse who fails to appear in contempt and fine them.  

You may also ask the court to schedule hearings and a case management conference. You, your spouse, and your respective attorneys update the judge on issues, progress, and status. The judge may compel your spouse to act when there is evidence the spouse is employing tactics to delay the divorce.  

Can an Attorney Help? 

There is no reason to fight a stalling spouse alone. Your Kansas or Missouri divorce lawyer is the best advocate you can have to keep your case on track. Your lawyer will know how to speed up the divorce process so you can conclude it and move on. Moreover, your lawyer will make sure you are not coerced into agreeing to anything unfair to you simply because your spouse is using a delay to pressure you.  

You should also know that some delays will cost you extra money, such as paying for a canceled mediation or paying additional attorney’s fees to file and argue motions that would otherwise be unnecessary. Your attorney may be able to help you recover these costs in divorce.  

Start Moving Forward 

Once you know your marriage can’t be saved, you simply want it to be resolved with as little friction and in as brief a time as possible. When your spouse is adding unnecessary time and expenses, the process becomes even more stressful and emotional. It doesn’t need to be this way. 

Contact Rundberg Law, LLC, in Overland Park, Kansas, to schedule a time to meet and get your divorce back on schedule. Don’t delay. Call me today.