Common Stalling Tactics During a North Carolina Divorce

One of the most frustrating things about a divorce in North Carolina is that it can take a long time to become finalized. Even before you start the legal process, you must separate for one year prior to moving forward. After that happens, there is the possibility of a lengthy, expensive, and tiresome trial process. Of course, the quickest option may be to draft a separation agreement beforehand in order to expedite the trial process as much as possible. Unfortunately, some spouses seem intent on making their divorce last as long as possible.

Why might a spouse want to delay and stall the trial process? There could be many different reasons for this behavior. Many spouses simply cannot accept that their marriage is ending, and they desperately try to prolong the inevitable by drawing out the trial. Perhaps they think that if they stall long enough, their ex will change their mind and the relationship will be fixed. On the other hand, some spouses could be bitter and emotional. These spouses might use the trial to make the divorce as frustrating and annoying for their ex as possible, enacting some kind of misplaced revenge for ending the marriage. At the end of the day, these situations often occur when there is a serious amount of conflict between the spouses.

If you are dealing with a situation like this, it makes sense to get in touch with a qualified, experienced attorney in North Carolina. Ideally, you should search for a divorce lawyer who has experience with high conflict divorces. These legal professionals are familiar with many of the stalling tactics employed by combative spouses, and they can use various counter-strategies. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can take steps to help expedite your divorce in the shortest amount of time possible, regardless of your unique situation.

It is Impossible to Serve Them With Your Divorce Petition

One of the first stages of a divorce is serving your spouse with the divorce petition. This is a legal document that informs them of the legal action that has been taken to commence the divorce process. However, you can experience serious delays if your spouse makes it difficult to serve them with your petition. For example, they might disappear from their normal home and go months without being seen. Or perhaps they simply refuse to talk to anyone they do not know, leaving you with limited opportunity to serve them with the petition.

Refusing to Negotiate

A spouse who refuses to negotiate may drastically delay the court process. One of the fastest ways to deal with a divorce is to draft a separation agreement. With this approach, in general the judge simply needs to sign off on all of the various things you have agreed to with your spouse, and that is that. However, this more streamlined option is impossible if your spouse refuses to negotiate. Without your spouse’s cooperation, a lengthy trial may be inevitable.

Making Ridiculous Requests

During the discovery stage of the divorce process, both parties can request information from each other. This is meant to be an opportunity for both parties to share evidence, ensuring everyone has a common understanding of the situation before approaching the trial. However, this can easily be abused by a spouse who wants to delay the overall process. A common stalling tactic is to make ridiculous requests during the discovery phase. The spouse may request meaningless information and documents, drawing out the discovery phase to an unreasonable extent.

Not Responding to Requests

On the other end of the spectrum, a spouse may delay the process by failing to respond to requests during the discovery phase. Note that they are legally obliged to respond, but they can delay for a significant amount of time before experiencing any real consequences. They can also ask for extensions for a number of reasons.

Changing Lawyers

Another less common stalling tactic is to simply change lawyers midway through the divorce. This can lead to a complete halt in proceedings while your spouse searches for a new lawyer.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching North Carolina for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith Law, PLLC. We have considerable experience with high conflict divorces, and we are well aware of many of the stalling tactics spouses might try. With our help, you can expedite the divorce process and proactively anticipate and respond to any preventable delays. Reach out today at 704-370-2828 or contact us here, and we can help you move forward with your divorce in an efficient, confident manner.