Intentional Delays in Divorce: Tactics and Timelines


Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging periods in a person's life, especially when one spouse intentionally delays the process. At GarciaWindsor, a family law firm in Dallas, Texas, we often encounter clients who face prolonged divorce proceedings due to various tactics employed by their spouses. This article explores how and for how long a spouse can intentionally drag out a divorce process, and what you can do to mitigate these delays.

Understanding the Motivations for Delay

Strategic Delays

Some spouses may delay the divorce process for strategic reasons. They might hope to secure a better financial deal, especially if the delay could lead to an increase in marital assets or changes in financial circumstances. Others might use delay tactics to gain leverage in negotiations, particularly in contentious custody battles.

Emotional Delays

In other cases, a spouse may drag out the divorce due to emotional reasons. Not being ready to let go or wanting to make the process as difficult as possible for the other party are common motivations. Such delays can be deeply frustrating for the spouse eager to move forward.

Common Tactics Used to Delay Divorce

Failing to Respond

One common tactic is simply not responding to divorce papers. In Texas, a spouse has a specific number of days to respond after being served. Deliberately missing this deadline can delay proceedings, but courts can eventually allow the divorce to proceed by default if one party continuously fails to respond.

Requesting Unnecessary Extensions

A spouse might frequently request extensions for submitting paperwork or for court dates, often under the guise of needing more time to prepare. While courts can be accommodating in ensuring both parties have time to fairly represent their cases, they also recognize when extensions become excessive.

Disputing Every Issue

Challenging every little detail of the divorce agreement, from asset division to child custody, can significantly lengthen the divorce process. This tactic forces all issues to be litigated extensively, increasing both the time and cost of the divorce.

Changing Lawyers

Frequently changing legal representation can also cause delays. Each new lawyer may need time to become acquainted with the case, and this can be used as a reason to push back court dates and deadlines.

How to Combat Delays in Divorce

Set Clear Deadlines

Working with your lawyer to set clear deadlines and stick to them can help mitigate delays. Your attorney can help enforce these deadlines through the courts if necessary.

Motion for Status Conference

Filing a motion for a status conference can bring the case in front of a judge, allowing you to address the delay tactics being used by your spouse and ask the court to set a schedule for the remaining process.

Seek Court Intervention

If delays become unreasonable, seeking court intervention can be necessary. The court can order timelines and even sanctions against a spouse who is found to be deliberately stalling the process.

Contact GarciaWindsor for Support

If you find yourself in a divorce that seems to be dragging unnecessarily, it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney who can effectively address and counteract delay tactics. At GarciaWindsor, we are experienced in handling such situations and can help expedite your divorce proceedings while ensuring your rights and interests are protected. Contact us today to discuss your situation and find out how we can support you through this challenging time. Let our expertise in family law guide you to a timely and fair resolution of your divorce.