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Handling a Stalling Spouse in a California Divorce

Divorced couple about to finalize their papers

Divorcing spouses are sometimes willing to take out their frustration or hurt feelings toward their ex through the divorce process itself. In many cases, this will materialize as unreasonable delays to the divorce process. On the one hand, delay tactics could be the work of a spouse who wishes to cost their ex a lot of money in attorneys’ fees. On the other hand, such tactics could also be those of a spouse who hopes desperately for a reconciliation and isn’t willing to let the book close on their marriage with a final judgment of divorce. Read on to learn about how to tell if your ex is stalling your divorce case, what you can do about it, and how respond to a divorce in the appropriate manner. 

How can you tell if your spouse is stalling?

Divorce isn’t a speedy process; in fact, all court cases take longer than it might seem that they should if you’ve never previously participated in a lawsuit. It can therefore be difficult to tell whether delays in the case are attributable to your ex taking deliberate steps to slow down progress in your case. If you believe the problem may be with your ex, there are signs that may tip you off. Your spouse might repeatedly cancel scheduled depositions. You may have trouble getting responses to document requests made as part of discovery. Your ex might also go on the offensive by making excessive and burdensome document requests of you. Some litigants even go so far as to switch attorneys shortly before a hearing or trial, buying them more time before a final resolution.

What can you do about a stalling spouse?

Just like your mother might’ve instructed you when you were getting teased as a child, don’t let them see you get annoyed. By letting it show to your ex that these delay tactics are getting to you or even changing your mind, you could end up encouraging the behavior. Don’t reward this selfish and immature tactic by responding to it emotionally. If you find it impossible to communicate with your spouse without betraying your frustration with the progress you’ve made on the divorce, limit your communication with them as much as possible, instead communicating through your attorney on any topics related to the split.

When delays get out of hand, your attorney can seek help from the judge in setting deadlines that will force the case to move forward. For example, if your ex has refused to disclose important paperwork in the discovery phase of your case, leaving you stuck waiting on these papers before you can move forward, the judge can create serious consequences if your spouse misses yet another deadline to produce these items, such as financial sanctions.

Another tactic to expedite your case could even be to concede. If your ex has refused to move forward in your case until you capitulate to their demands, try and set any ego aside and find an issue where you’re able to give them what they want. This act of compromise could make your ex more willing to work with you and will at the very least show the judge in your case that you are willing to make hard concessions to move forward, exposing your spouse as the obdurate problem litigant that they are.

If you need professional, seasoned help with a Southern California Divorce, contact the dedicated San Gabriel Valley family law attorneys at Blasser Law, in Diamond Bar at 909-843-6363.

Blasser Law

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20955 Pathfinder Road, Suite 100
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

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