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How to Respond to a Stalling Spouse

Married couple splitting up

Filing for divorce may have felt like it was an inevitability for years to you, but your desire for a split may have come as a surprise to your spouse. A reluctant spouse can make a divorce truly miserable in many ways, but one of the most costly and frustrating ways is through the use of stall tactics. Dilatory tactics can result in enormous additions to the cost of a split, not to mention months or even years of additional time you’ll need to spend on your divorce. Read on to learn about common ways that spouses can prolong a divorce through stall tactics as well as ways that you can address these issues with the help of a skilled lawyer, and contact a knowledgeable New York family law attorney with additional questions.

What are examples of stalling tactics in a divorce proceeding?

There are countless opportunities to prolong a court case for a party who isn’t motivated to resolve a case. Knowing what to look for can help you recognize and address stalling tactics before they get out of hand. One example may be a spouse who routinely cancels sessions with a mediator, relying on flimsy excuses. Another example may be delays in responding to discovery requests, or repeated requests for extensions from the court when responding to motions or scheduling hearings. Spouses may also repeatedly make small changes to a divorce settlement agreement that prevent you from finalizing it.

Understanding the reasons for delay can help you resolve them

Your spouse may be trying to delay the finalization of a divorce because they believe there’s hope of a reunion. Stalling can also be used to “bleed out” a spouse in an attempt to obtain concessions on crucial issues. Considering what might be at the root of these stall tactics can help you figure out how to address them and get closer to a resolution.

Use the help of your attorney and the court to force your case forward

While judges typically frown on parties coming before the court repeatedly to resolve conflicts that could be solved outside the courtroom, there are times when parties won’t act without a court’s help. For example, if your spouse refuses to produce documents that your attorney has requested through discovery, your lawyer can file a motion to compel their responses, which could result in fines or penalties in litigation if they fail to act. In circumstances where your spouse refuses to respond to even a demand for divorce, your attorney may choose to file a motion for a default judgment. A default judgment allows you to finalize your divorce faster, without input from your spouse, and to set the terms of your divorce. These terms would still need to be approved by the judge, but a default judgment would provide you with greater leeway to set terms you prefer.

If you’re facing a difficult or complex divorce in New York, get help from sophisticated, knowledgeable, and seasoned legal counsel by contacting the Hudson Valley divorce lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a consultation, at 845-236-4411 (Marlboro), or at 845-331-4100 (Kingston).

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