While divorces involve a fair amount of time, there may come a point when they feel like they’re dragging on far too long. At this difficult stage in your life, you likely want the divorce finalized so you can move on and put this experience behind you.
First, it’s important to note what specifically is causing the drawn-out divorce. Carlsbad family law attorney John Griffith explains, “Since each divorce case is unique, there are a variety of factors that can lengthen or shorten the process. Once we’ve identified the factors slowing down your case, we can make a plan to speed everything up.”
Reasons Why a Divorce May Be Prolonged
A lengthy divorce is likely the result of several elements. Some common ones include:
- Child custody and support: If there are children involved, and you and your spouse aren’t agreeing on their living arrangements, this problematic situation is likely dragging out the divorce proceedings. Sometimes, one party may make allegations of child abuse or neglect, which requires a detailed investigation.
- Self-employment: If you or your spouse is self-employed, this can lead to frustrating intricacies when it comes to dividing assets. This is especially true if the self-employed party underreports his or her income, or the other spouse makes false allegations that the self-employed spouse makes more than he or she really does.
- The other party’s attorney: It may be possible that your spouse’s attorney is dragging out the case, trying to make as much money as possible. There are some unethical lawyers out there who will seek to improve their own best interests more than their client’s.
- Property: Since California law recognizes nearly all assets acquired during the marriage as community property, it can be tricky trying to untangle everything you or your spouse earned or gained during your time together.
With all of the above reasons and more, it’s clear that divorce can be a time-consuming process. Thus, it’s always best to consult with an expert in California family law to get information and help tailored to your specific case.
How Can I Speed Up This Process?
No matter what the cause of your prolonged case, there are several ways to hasten the divorce process. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Consider going for an uncontested divorce. This means you and your spouse agree to settle all issues beforehand in an amicable manner. While it might be difficult to get to this point, it will save a great deal of time in court.
- Use codes like California Family Law Code 271: This particular code is useful if your spouse’s attorney is dragging out the process by unreasonable means. This section of the family law code can put pressure on the other party’s attorney to speed up the case; it can award you legal fees for the unnecessary lengthening of a divorce, regardless of your financial need.
- Communicate effectively: If at all feasible, talk to your spouse to agree on a timeline for the finality of the divorce. Otherwise, be sure you have an exceptional family law attorney to handle your case. If he or she is a reason for dragging out the process, perhaps it might be time to find a new one.
- Be aware of California law’s “cooling off” period. The soonest a divorce in California can be finalized is six months after the divorce petition has been served to the other party. Should you and your spouse decide to reconcile during this period, the case can be dropped. While this might not be helpful at the onset of the proceedings, it can save you a lot of time in the long run if you decide not to divorce after all.
“Though it might sound repetitive, each divorce case really is as unique as the individuals who comprise it,” says Griffith. “Thus, it’s best to consult with an experienced family law attorney to get the best results for your case.”
To talk about finalizing your divorce in as timely manner as possible, please call 858-371-5569, or email to schedule a free consultation. This knowledgeable, professional team at Griffith, Young and Lass will guide you to a favorable outcome for your case.
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