Published On: September 27, 2023

How to Drag Out a Divorce?

Divorces are seldom friendly transactions, even for uncontested ones. Stalling a divorce can happen when one party does not want the divorce, is bitter about it, or when they are trying to buy time to manipulate finances. Dragging out a divorce is not only unfair and manipulative, it usually ends up being emotionally and financially draining for everyone involved. 

If you are involved in a divorce in New York with an uncooperative spouse, you should get the guidance of an experienced New York divorce attorney to discuss your options. At The Law Office of Ryan Besinque, our team of experienced New York City divorce lawyers can help you navigate through the complexities of your divorce, ensuring your rights are protected and that you receive the settlement you deserve. Contact us today at (929) 251-4477 to schedule a consultation.

Why Would One Spouse Choose to Drag Out a Divorce?

Spouses often use unfair tactics in divorces. Sometimes it is a matter of revenge, or if one spouse doesn’t want the divorce and is hoping that the other spouse will change their mind. One spouse may not like the terms that are being offered for child custody or support. In some cases, the reasons are more nefarious such as one spouse attempting to hide assets. 

The reasons for stalling a divorce usually fall into one of three categories:

  • One spouse doesn’t expect or want the divorce. This spouse may feel if they keep holding on, their spouse will possibly change their mind, and the marriage can be saved. Unfortunately, these spouses have a difficult time letting go and moving on from a marriage that isn’t working. 
  • One spouse feels angry and resentful. This spouse may feel completely out of control and act out of anger and bitterness toward the other. They want to see that spouse suffer through months or even years of a long, drawn-out divorce to feel some sense of control or even revenge. 
  • One spouse is motivated by financial reasons for delaying the divorce, running up attorney’s fees, leaving the other without financial resources, delaying support payments, or hiding assets. 
Divorce attorney in New York

Signs that Your Spouse May Be Dragging Your Divorce Out

Some spouses use tactics for stalling a divorce that comes down to pure manipulation. Some signs that you may be dealing with manipulative behavior are when

  • Your spouse keeps rescheduling meetings with your mediator or between your lawyers. 
  • Your spouse avoids service of the court documents or fails to sign the documents.
  • Your spouse makes false accusations against you.
  • Your spouse frequently changes lawyers.
  • Your spouse refuses to answer or return your calls, texts, or emails.
  • Your spouse keeps making unreasonable demands.
  • Your spouse keeps filing useless motions in court.

While divorce often just takes time, feeling stalled by your soon-to-be ex-spouse is never a good way to begin your new chapter. While there is no deadline for a divorce, you don’t have to sit around and wait for an uncooperative spouse. You may have legal options available to you.

Getting a divorce is never easy, but there are certain circumstances that can make it more difficult. In some cases, one spouse may not want to get a divorce and refuse to respond to the summons. While other times, a person may have a hard time finding the other spouse and serving them divorce papers. 

In New York, there are two ways to get a divorce without the consent of your spouse. These are “no signature required” divorce and divorce by publication.

In a divorce process, the divorce papers are formally served to the non-filing spouse. They are then required to respond to the summons within 20 days in order for the process to proceed. However, if the time allotted for the non-filing spouse to respond has passed and there is a lack of response from them, they will be considered “default” and the divorce may still proceed. 

A default divorce is only possible if both spouses knew about the filing of the divorce. If the spouse has not received a divorce summons, a default divorce cannot be obtained.

A divorce by publication happens when the filing spouse is not able to locate the other spouse. This usually happens when the couple has been separated for years and has not maintained any contact. The filing spouse may not know where their ex lives or works. In such situations, it may be possible to obtain a divorce by publication. 

To prove you tried every avenue possible to locate your spouse, the court will require you to complete a process to document all the actions you made to find the other spouse. If you still have not been able to find your spouse after the process ends, then you’ll be required to publish your notice of the divorce in the local newspaper for three weeks. If your spouse does not contact you after that, the divorce proceedings can begin. 

Grounds for Divorce in New York
Grounds for Divorce Description Can divorce be granted without the other spouse’s consent?
Cruel and inhuman treatment Behavior by one spouse that endangers the physical or mental well-being of the other spouse to the point where it is unsafe or improper to continue living together Yes
Abandonment When one spouse leaves the other without justification or consent and does not return for a period of one or more years Yes
Imprisonment When one spouse is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of three or more consecutive years Yes
Adultery When one spouse engages in sexual activity outside of the marriage Yes
Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage When the relationship between the spouses has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months No (both spouses must consent)

Tactics for Delaying a Divorce 

Delaying a divorce can happen for various reasons, and it is usually the result of an uncooperative spouse who doesn’t want to let go of the marriage. One of the main reasons for delaying divorce is the financial motivation of one spouse, who may try to manipulate the finances, run up attorney fees, hide assets, or delay support payments. Another reason could be that one spouse may feel angry and resentful, and they want to see their spouse suffer through a long and drawn-out divorce to feel some sense of control or revenge. The third reason is that one spouse doesn’t want or expect a divorce and hopes that the marriage can be saved by holding on, making it difficult to let go and move on from a marriage that isn’t working.

If you find yourself dealing with an uncooperative spouse, you should seek the guidance of an experienced New York divorce attorney to discuss your options. Your attorney can request a hearing to address the issues you are experiencing, and if your spouse disobeys court orders, they may find themselves in serious trouble and even face jail time. There are also legal options available to you, such as getting a divorce without the consent of your spouse through a “no signature required” divorce or a divorce by publication. With the help of a skilled New York divorce attorney, you can navigate through the divorce process and move forward with your life.

Why Do Lawyers Drag Out Cases

Legal cases, like divorce proceedings, can become extended and intricate due to various elements. Child custody and financial matters often dominate these discussions. Yet, another unnoticed aspect that contributes to the duration of these cases is the deliberate stalling tactics used by attorneys from both parties. This occurrence is notably common during the negotiation phase of a divorce agreement, predominantly when financial matters are the primary concern.

In certain jurisdictions – for example, New York – where legal separation is an acceptable choice, attorneys may suggest their clients contemplate it as a preliminary step to divorce. Legal separation allows couples a two-year period to decide whether to move forward with a divorce. Additionally, it includes the option for either party to request a “no fault” divorce after the separation period has ended.

This strategy can be beneficial for attorneys as it has the potential to augment their chargeable hours, particularly if one spouse decides to pursue a divorce at the end of the separation period. This method is often observed in large law firms that place revenue creation above reaching a conclusive divorce agreement.

This is why it is crucial to hire a seasoned divorce attorney who can prevent or at least lessen such delays. By understanding why attorneys sometimes extend cases, one can more effectively navigate the legal process and possibly reduce the length of their case.

Hiring a Skilled New York Divorce Attorney

If you find that you are trying to navigate a divorce with an uncooperative spouse, your New York divorce attorney can request a hearing to address the issues you are experiencing. If your spouse then disobeys court orders, he or she may find themselves in serious trouble and may even face jail time. 
Don’t waste any more time than necessary with a spouse who is trying to drag out your divorce. Ryan Besinque and the experienced team of New York divorce lawyers at the Law Office of Ryan Besinque may provide options to force your spouse to comply with the process. We have the experience it takes to help guide you toward the resolution you need to move forward. Call us at (929) 251-4477 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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How to Drag Out a Divorce?

Table of Contents Why Would One Spouse Choose to Drag Out a Divorce? Signs that Your Spouse May Be Dragging Your Divorce Out Divorcing Without The Other Spouse’s Consent Tactics for Delaying a Divorce  Why

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