Conflicting Interests: What To Do When Your Spouse Delays the Divorce Process


To address the obvious, a divorce typically takes longer than you’d like it to.  The time to complete a divorce depends on a multitude of factors, including but not limited to the specific Court docket size, complexity of the issues involved in the divorce, and the time of year (December Court dockets are usually extremely busy resulting in delays) As a difficult and often emotional decision, the desire for the process to be over as soon as possible is not uncommon. Even without a spouse delaying the process or causing complications, there is typically a mandatory 60 day waiting period after the suit is filed, before the court ultimately decides to grant the divorce. This is the case even if both parties want the divorce. 

Understanding the Motives: Delays

Delays Caused by Case Complexity 

First understand that it is not uncommon for divorce proceedings to extend up to or beyond 6- 9 months, especially when factors like child custody, psychological evaluations, property valuations, and business valuations are involved. Discovery processes, property valuations, and assessments related to children contribute to the lengthier timeline. Despite the frustration of delays, ensuring thoroughness in these aspects is crucial for protecting both yourself and your children in the divorce process.

Delays Caused by Your Spouse

Aside from common and mandatory delays, spousal delays can stem from various motives. Whether it's an attempt to control the proceedings, financial gain, or emotional manipulation, understanding the motives behind the delays is the first step to addressing them effectively. In most cases when a spouse is causing unnecessary delays, the solution is to set your case for a final trial. 

Legal and Strategic Actions

Consult with Your Attorney

Begin by consulting with your divorce attorney. They can assess the situation, identify the motives behind the delays, and formulate a legal strategy tailored to your specific circumstances. Even if  you move to provide notice of a final trial, it does not definitively mean your case will go to a contested final trial. 

Document Everything

In the waiting period, it’s key to keep meticulous records of any communication, missed deadlines, or actions that contribute to the delays. This documentation may serve as valuable evidence if legal action becomes necessary.

File Motions with the Court

If delays persist, your attorney can file motions with the court to address specific issues causing the slowdown. This legal action can prompt the court to intervene and enforce deadlines, including requesting a trial date and scheduling order from the Court. 

Empowering Yourself

Stay Focused on Your Goals & Embrace Flexibility

Clearly define your goals for the divorce and stay focused on them. This clarity can guide your decisions and actions throughout the process. While it's essential to remain focused on your goals, be prepared to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Flexibility can be a powerful asset in navigating unexpected delays.

Moving Forward


Prioritize self-care during this challenging time. Seek support from friends, family, or professionals to help manage the emotional toll of prolonged divorce proceedings.

Maintain Realistic Expectations

Understand that the divorce process can be complex, but with the right legal representation and a strategic approach, you can navigate the challenges and move forward toward a resolution.


In conclusion, when conflicting interests create delays in the divorce process, proactive steps and strategic legal actions are essential. Coldwell Bowes is committed to providing the guidance and support you need to overcome obstacles, ensuring a more efficient and successful resolution to your divorce proceedings. Our seasoned trial attorneys are ready to move your case along as swiftly as possible given your specific set of circumstances when you are facing the stress of spousal delays. If you are considering divorce or in need of a seasoned experienced trial attorney, contact Coldwell Bowes today. 

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