There are several reasons why your divorce could be taking longer than it needs to, or much longer than you expected. Let’s look at the reasons:
- There is no communication, or acrimonious communication between spouses. Communication is the center point, the ground zero for the trajectory of the divorce. This is why lawyers are hired, to speak for their clients, along with providing legal advice. Hiring an attorney for legal advice is smart. Using an attorney in this way won’t cost a fortune. When an attorney is hired to “represent” a client, to speak for a client, to file for a client, that’s when the cost can be astronomical.
When an attorney is hired, the client is allowing the attorney to lead the way in terms of what is going to be filed, the number of Hearings the attorney says needs to take place to move the case forward, and what the attorney believes is appropriate and necessary to gather the necessary information in order for assets and debts to be divided, and for child support and custody, and spousal support/alimony to be assigned. Most first-time divorcing clients don’t know the process and can’t monitor the attorney if the attorney is doing more than is necessary, or not doing enough.
When divorcing spouses can speak to one another, and make decisions on their own, or through mediator, less money can be spent and the divorce can be over sooner.
Less money. Less pain.
- Going through the Emotional Divorce before engaging in the Legal Divorce is so important in order for divorcing people to feel centered, less emotional, accepting of the divorce, no blame left, ending with a renewed sense of hope for the future. Some people do take time after they’ve had the divorce talk and before filing. They don’t always understand why; it just feels right to wait. That’s giving themselves time to go through the emotions of leaving the marriage and moving into another phase of their lives. Taking this time is the smartest thing people can do, because when entering the legal side of divorce, decisions can be made not out of anger but with a clear mind and heart, allowing people to leave the marriage without regrets.
When people start the filing out of anger and hurt, or right after the divorce talk, too much money is spent, too much acrimony is expressed, the children suffer watching their parents destroy each other, and the divorce takes years.
- Motivation isn’t there to finalize the divorce. The filing starts but then at some point in the filing, one or both spouses can’t bring themselves to finish. This goes beyond the Emotional Divorce to accepting a new role as a single person. Quite often there are two homes and the appearance of two separate lives going forward, but officially one or both spouses can’t bring themselves to the finality of the marriage. One spouse might be heard saying, “What does it matter, we’ve lived like this for the past 5-10 years, why not continue to live separately and still be married?” If both spouses prefer this way of living, why not? The ice breaker comes when one spouse has a significant other who doesn’t want to be in a relationship with a married person. The significant other will force a decision to finish the divorce.
Or there are no longer minor children. Working together as co-parents gives purpose to the relationship even if there are two separate houses. When that purpose is no longer a factor, one spouse typically broaches the subject of completing the paperwork to finalize the divorce.
- There are no more Hearings, no more discovery and evidence needed, just decisions made by a Judge in a trial. These are the acrimonious, litigious, contentious divorces that include personality disorders in one or both spouses, frivolous filings just to keep the divorce force strong and torture the other spouse, and include lawyers that let their clients run amuck for money.
The legal bleeding can stop if one spouse asks the other spouse what they would like to end the divorce. A compromise can end the craziness as long as the compromise doesn’t compromise the health and welfare of the children. Divorce is an issue of compromise. People say, “I just want it to be fair.” But fair is subjective. One person’s definition of fair isn’t the same as the other spouse. Individual feelings and the reason for the divorce drive what each spouse thinks is fair.
When a compromise can be offered that addresses what the other spouse really wants underneath what they say they want, a compromise can be reached that will work. For instance, if Dad asks for 50/50 parenting time to be able to say to his friends that he has 50/50 custody, but in reality doesn’t want to devote half of his time to single parenting, the other spouse can grant this request while knowing that the kids will be the winners with quality time with the parent who is better at parenting and honestly wants to parent. Getting rid of “fair” and replacing it with an outcome that ends the pain and becomes the gain in an alternative way that can be healthy and beneficial to everyone in the family.
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