What Are The Major Causes Of Delays In Divorce Proceedings?
If you or your spouse has decided to end your marriage, you may be looking forward to getting through the divorce process as fast as possible. The divorce process can be stressful, so it is understandable if you want to get through the process as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the truth is that, depending on several things, your divorce process could take months or even years. There are a lot of things that can prolong the divorce process. Aside from a pandemic like the COVID-19, many more issues can lead to delays in the divorce process. Below are some other issues that could delay divorce proceedings:
Divorce Is Contested
A divorce in Florida may be uncontested or contested. In the first case, spouses agree on all divorce-related issues. In that instance, matters can move along quickly and divorces can be resolved much more easily.
On the other hand, when the divorce is contested, it means that spouses cannot agree on the issues relating to their divorce. This means they have to move through several steps to resolve the case. First, parties are all required to attend mediation in an effort to resolve the case. If there are interim issues that need to be resolved, they may also have to attend an interim temporary needs hearing. If these efforts fail, the case will proceed to trial; however, before trial can be scheduled, one spouse or the other may have to undergo a vocational evaluation, custody evaluation, medical or psychiatric evaluation or other evaluation in order to be fully prepared for trial. Lastly, subpoenas or depositions may be needed to obtain the evidence needed for trial. Thus, once all of the foregoing has been accomplished, they can apply for a trial date to appear before a judge, who will decide their case. Thus, just getting to the trial stage can take time, effort and a good deal of funds. Therefore, resolution by trial will certainly prolong the divorce process. To add to the frustration, there is a backlog of divorce cases which means it can take several months before a trial date can be scheduled, which length of time varies from county to county.
Lack of Cooperation
The divorce process can also drag on for months or even years if there is an uncooperative spouse. For example, if one spouse refuses to provide financial disclosure or refuses to cooperate in scheduling hearings, depositions or mediation, this will delay the case. Moreover, this will result in more fees and costs, and create an additional brief hearing before the judge who will order cooperation.
Division of Assets
This is one issue that causes delays in a lot of divorce proceedings. Determining which assets are marital and which are separate can take time, and determining which spouse gets what can cause disagreements between spouses. This is especially true in divorce cases involving high-value assets. Also, there are times when spouses hide assets. If it is determined that a party is hiding assets, the divorce process can be delayed as it might take time to uncover the hidden assets.
When a divorce case involves minor children, this is the most common cause for delay. It can be challenging to resolve issues such as time-sharing and child support. For example, because of the emotions that arise during divorce, parents may not agree on the allocation of responsibilities. Even though parents know that child-related issues should be resolved with the child’s best interests in mind, emotions can take over and result in him or her acting unreasonably.
One Party Hopes To Reconcile
Even if a marriage is irretrievably broken, one party may feel like the marriage can be fixed. One party may feel as though the divorce process is just another misunderstanding. If one party to a divorce hopes to reconcile, he or she may end up causing delays in divorce proceedings.
Contact a Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer
If you are about to go through a divorce in Florida, you need to reach out to a qualified divorce attorney. Our experienced and dedicated Jacksonville divorce lawyers at The Lasky Law Firm are here for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.