What to Do If Your Spouse Isn’t Cooperating During Divorce Proceedings
Deciding to split up when a marriage is no longer working is already a difficult decision to make. It can be even more challenging when one partner refuses to go through with your previous agreements. Below the attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss the route to take if your spouse refuses to cooperate during divorce proceedings.
Understand Your Spouses Reasons
An uncontested divorce is the ideal resolution for most people seeking to end a marriage. But if you are the one who filed for divorce, your spouse may want to delay the proceedings in the hope that you are able to patch things up. Whether it’s by refusing to respond to the divorce petition or asking for continuous court extensions, understanding your spouse’s reasons for choosing not to cooperate can help you get the resolution you are seeking. One way to do this is to open up conversation, directly or through counsel, and allow your spouse to share their reasoning. Do they want to get back together (and do you?) or are their motives financially or otherwise emotionally motivated (i.e. to extend access to your employer-sponsored health insurance, or to try to get to the 10 year marriage mark if you are a servicemember in the armed forces, etc.?
If your spouse isn’t filing responsive paperwork to your divorce pleading at all, you may be able to seek a default judgment. This is when a judge treats your spouse’s failure to respond as an agreement to all of the terms you have requested. Proper service, opportunity to respond, and a time to allow the opposing party to ask to be removed from default are all required. Default is unlikely to stand on issues concerning minor children if the defaulting spouse decides to participate at some point prior to the conclusion of the case.
Get Everything in Writing
From text messages about the initial petition to combative text messages and argumentative emails during the proceedings, it’s a good idea to start documenting everything that your spouse says as soon as possible. Make a note each time you are asked for money or threatened, as well as any other interaction that may help in future proceedings. Remember, however, that you should text like the Judge is reading over your shoulder, and if you are unsure how to respond to any certain situation to confer with your attorney.
Speak To Your Attorney About Your Legal Options
Navigating divorce proceedings when your spouse is purposely delaying the proceedings, rather than ignoring them, can be tricky. If your spouse continuously requests extensions, cancels depositions or refuses to make time for mediation you may have other options. Speak to an experienced attorney to discuss these.
Contact Rodier Family Law Today For Assistance
When an ex-partner fails to cooperate during divorce proceedings, the stress can be overwhelming. Deciding what is best to help you maintain your family’s well-being, finances and setting yourself up for the future can be difficult. We understand the frustration that comes with an ex-partner not cooperating with divorce proceedings and that’s why the experienced and professional attorneys at Rodier Family Law are here to guide and support you through the process. To request a consultation with our attorneys, call (410) 803-1839.