Spouses split up disputing about divorce settlement in lawyers office

When Your Ex Is Dragging Out Your Divorce

Law Office of Shelly Jean John July 4, 2023

Divorce is often a difficult time for both parties involved—emotionally, mentally, and financially. Unfortunately, some individuals may prolong the process by using tactics that stall or obstruct the divorce. These tactics can range from subtle to outright offensive.  

If you find yourself dealing with divorce-stalling tactics, you might want to speak with an attorney to determine your best course of action. As a divorce attorney at the Law Office of Shelly Jean John, I help clients understand their options for moving their cases forward. With offices in Ontario and Riverside, California, I serve all of San Bernardino County and Riverside County.  

Common Divorce-Stalling Tactics

Some of the common stalling tactics your spouse may use include but are not limited to: 

1. Avoiding Service of Process 

It is not uncommon for one party to attempt to avoid the service of the process altogether. The party being served papers may “disappear” or move locations to make it difficult for the other party to deliver the serving papers. The individual could also avoid the server, and therefore, the papers.  

2. Rescheduling at the Very Last Minute 

Sometimes, one party will agree to a deposition or mediation session, only to suddenly reschedule at the last minute. This tactic can waste everyone’s time and delay the legal proceedings, which can be frustrating and expensive for the other party.  

3. Filing Frivolous Motions 

When your soon-to-be ex files frivolous motions, they are hoping that the time and resources you need to fight them will cause you to give up or settle. A motion that is unrelated to the case, or lacks any legal foundation, is frivolous.  

4. Not Responding to Discovery Requests in a Timely Manner 

When a party does not respond to discovery requests in a timely manner, it is a stalling tactic. Discovery is when both parties request information about the other side’s evidence and witnesses.  

5. Refusing to Return Phone Calls or Emails 

Intentionally ignoring or avoiding phone calls or emails is another stalling tactic. This can delay the legal process and prevent progress on the case. Just because your spouse does not want to communicate does not mean you should give up on trying.  

Reasons a Spouse May Want to Stall the Divorce

There may be various reasons why your spouse may be dragging out the divorce. Some of the most common reasons a spouse may want to stall the divorce include:  

  1. Unwillingness to get a divorce. One of the reasons spouses stall the divorce process is because they are unwilling to accept that the marriage is over. They may still have hopes of reconciliation, may feel insecure about being alone, or may fear the unknown.  

  1. Revenge or punishment. Some spouses may stall the divorce process out of a desire for revenge or punishment. They may feel wronged by the other party and use the divorce process as a way to get back at them.  

  1. Fear about the potential outcome. Another reason why a spouse may stall the divorce process is that they fear the potential outcome. They may worry about losing custody of their children, the division of assets, or the amount of child or spousal support they may have to pay.  

If your spouse is using divorce stalling tactics to drag out the divorce, this can be frustrating. In this situation, it may feel like your life is in limbo.  

How an Attorney Can Help  

There are several things an attorney can do to help you if your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is dragging out your divorce:  

  • Keep the legal process moving. Having an attorney is essential to ensure the court sends out orders when the spouse is trying to use stalling tactics.  

  • Negotiate with the spouse’s attorney. Both parties’ attorneys may negotiate to help resolve any outstanding issues and help get your case moving.   

  • Fill out the proper paperwork. Your attorney can ensure that all paperwork is filed on time and correctly and take any legal action necessary to ensure that your spouse does not prevent the divorce proceedings from moving forward. 

  • Collect and organize evidence. An attorney will investigate the reasons behind the stalling tactics and collect evidence that may be useful in court.  

Reach out to an attorney if your ex is trying to stall the divorce proceedings.  

Don’t Go Through This Alone

Divorce can be a challenging time, especially if your spouse chooses to stall proceedings. If your spouse is trying to drag out your divorce, you might want to seek the assistance of a skilled divorce attorney. At the Law Office of Shelly Jean John, I can help you properly respond to your spouse’s stalling tactics to ensure a fair and speedy resolution. Reach out to my office today and tell me about your situation.