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Ways People Try to Stall a Divorce

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Divorces take time. Even when the parties agree on everything and reach a quick settlement, it can still take months to resolve. When one party engages in stall and delay tactics, the matter can take even longer. Below, we discuss a few common delay tactics and address how you and your divorce attorney might respond. If you are facing the prospect of divorce, or if you are dealing with other Illinois family law issues, call an experienced Chicago divorce and family law attorney for advice and assistance.

Avoiding the Divorce Papers

TV and movies have taught us that you can avoid a divorce if you refuse to “sign the papers.” Many people believe they can delay or skip a divorce entirely by refusing to sign an agreement to divorce, or by dodging process servers and claiming they never received actual, legal notice of the pending divorce.

Shockingly, pop culture has it wrong. You can obtain a divorce regardless of whether your spouse agrees, and you can obtain a divorce even when your spouse evades service of process. Your legal duty is to make a good faith, reasonable effort to serve the divorce papers on your spouse through normal means.

If your spouse will not accept service and has been avoiding process servers, your divorce attorney can help you move forward with the case regardless. If your spouse fails to respond to your divorce complaint, you might even be entitled to a default judgment, meaning you automatically get whatever you asked for.

Hiding Assets

Illinois law requires divorcing parties to fully disclose their finances, including all income, assets, and liabilities. Many divorcing parties try to protect their property or limit child and spousal support obligations by hiding bank accounts and other assets. Hiding or lying about assets can also delay the proceedings.

Hiding or lying about assets can have serious consequences. Illinois law gives the court authority to “impose significant penalties and sanctions” on any party that “intentionally or recklessly files an inaccurate or misleading financial affidavit.” If you believe your spouse is hiding assets, talk to your divorce lawyer and discuss your options.

Refusing to Negotiate in Good Faith

Divorces move much more quickly when the parties negotiate in good faith and reach a settlement. Divorces that settle can resolve in months instead of years. Where possible, it’s ideal to negotiate the settlement before even filing for divorce.

If your spouse refuses to have a reasonable discussion with you, or they refuse to communicate at all (with you or your lawyer), it can certainly delay the proceedings. While frustrating, it’s important to remember, again, that you don’t need their permission to obtain a divorce. You may need to take the matter all the way through the case and trial, but you can get your divorce.

You and your lawyer can also ask the court to force your spouse to at least attempt to negotiate in good faith. Illinois family courts will typically order the parties to attend mandatory mediation in an effort to reach a settlement.

Filing Frivolous Motions and Court Papers

The legal process can be tedious and time-consuming under the best of circumstances. If you’re dealing with a high-conflict or otherwise intransigent party, the process can drag on even more. Parties can try to overload you with motions and other legal filings to bury you and your legal team in paperwork.

You and your attorney can work out how to respond to these tactics. While motions cannot simply be ignored, if there’s reason to believe the other party is just stalling and that their motions are frivolous, the court might be open to stopping their conduct or imposing sanctions.

Call Today for Help With an Illinois Divorce

If you are considering divorce or dealing with child custody, child support, spousal support, or any other family law issue in Illinois, contact the experienced and diligent Carol Stream family law attorneys at Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt for a consultation on your case at 630-665-9600.

Johnson Westra Broker Whittaker & Newitt, P.C.

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Phone: 630-665-9600

Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt, P.C. is located in Carol Stream, St. Charles and Chicago, IL and serves clients in and around Wood Dale, Glen Ellyn, Lisle, Addison, Lombard, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Aurora, Villa Park, Oak Brook, Naperville, Westmont, Hinsdale, Woodridge, Clarendon Hills, Elmhurst, Darien, Eola, Lemont, Stone Park, Franklin Park, Mooseheart, North Aurora, Melrose Park, Streamwood, Robbins, Romeoville, Schiller Park, Bartlett, River Grove, Plainfield, Elmwood Park, Bolingbrook, Elk Grove Village, Batavia, Rolling Meadows, Boone County, Cook County, De Kalb County, Du Page County, Grundy County, Kane County, Kankakee County, Kendall County, Lake County, Lee County, Mchenry County, Ogle County and Will County.

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