Factors That Could Delay Your Divorce
Although family courts in Florida were allowed to reopen in 2020 after being shuttered for several months, all of them are still dealing with a backlog that was a problem even before the pandemic hit. Due to those court closures and staff shortages, divorces that require litigation or court hearings have seen the biggest delays. Still, COVID-19 cannot be blamed for all delays in divorce cases. Below, our Orlando family lawyer explains the most common reasons for delays in divorce, and how you can avoid them.
Not everyone cooperates during a divorce, even when they are at the center of it. If your spouse has ignored your attempt to communicate, hidden assets to protect them from property division proceedings, or switched lawyers in the middle of the divorce, it may be because they are trying to delay the finalization of the case.
Many delays cannot be avoided, but there are ways to dissuade individuals from acting in bad faith and causing needless and unwarranted delays. Some tools used to keep this behavior from happening is seeking sanctions against the other party through having them ordered to pay attorney fees, restricting the ability to present evidence, striking their pleadings, or imputing income to them. To avoid any additional delays, and make sure that you are not the subject of these forms of sanctions, respond timely, be attentive to your case, and remain honest and transparent throughout the process.
Your Case is Contested
Uncontested divorces can proceed very quickly. From start to finish, the average timeframe for an uncontested divorce is usually about three months. An uncontested divorce is one in which both spouses agree to all terms, including alimony, child custody, and more. If a couple disagrees on even just one term of the divorce, it then becomes contested.
A contested divorce will always take longer than one that is uncontested. This does not mean though, that you will necessarily have to enter litigation. Mediation and collaborative law are two forms of alternative dispute resolution that can allow you to reach an agreement with your spouse more quickly than going to trial.
The Waiting Period
People sometimes think that as soon as they file for divorce, the case can be finalized almost immediately. This is not true. Even if your case is uncontested and you and your spouse have reached an agreement, the state of Florida still imposes waiting periods on all divorce cases. The waiting period in Florida is 20 days from the date one spouse files for divorce. This means that even if you have drafted an agreement with your spouse and everything else is proceeding smoothly, family law judges are prohibited from granting the divorce until the waiting period has expired.
Call Our Family Lawyer in Orlando Today
If you are getting a divorce and are not working with an Orlando family lawyer, it is important to speak to one today. At Anderson & Ferrin, P.A., our skilled attorneys can determine why your case is delayed, and get the process moving again so you can move forward with your life. Call us today at 407-412-7041 or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation.