Why Is My Divorce Taking So Long?
If you are undergoing a divorce and your spouse and you have both hired lawyers, you are probably on a litigation track. This means that unless you settle your case, a judge will make the final decisions about your issues including dividing all of your assets and debts and determining the custodial rights of your children.
Why Are Courts So Slow?
Unfortunately, most states have too few judges because of budgeting limitations. In a typical county or jurisdiction, hundreds, if not thousands, of domestic cases are placed on one judge’s case load each year. This means that he or she will hear the older cases first and then move up the list chronologically until your case appears at the top. Often, this process can take eight to twelve months, and, during this time, you will feel as if nothing is happening with your case. Divorce lawyers get it–you want to be divorced and “done,” but the holdup is most likely with the scheduling of the cases within the court system.
What Are My Options?
When you hire an attorney, he or she should get you in front of a judge as quickly as possible; however, often the attorney is limited on what can be done because of backlogs of cases on judges’ dockets. Fortunately, other options are available besides your waiting on a judge, and you should discuss those with your attorney as soon as possible after your case is filed. These options include mediation and collaboration; additionally, private judges are available to hear cases in many states. Your choosing one of these options should definitely be considered during your case strategy development.
Focus on Movement.
Do not focus on revenge. Focus on movement! There have been hundreds of cases in which a spouse hates the other so badly that he or she wants to inform the judge of the bad history between the parties, believing this information will present one spouse as a bad person and make the other one feel better. Trust me–this is far from the truth! Judges hear hundreds of divorce cases each year, and nothing that your spouse has done will be actions about which the judge has not already heard. You will have a very limited time in front of the judge and after a trial, you will not be any further along if you seek verbal revenge against your spouse. The Judge does not care nor will he or she remember your disparaging information. Holding on to bitterness and seeking revenge hurts nobody but you.
Divorce is a “Split.”
Divorce is a disconnection and is not an event where you take all or your spouse takes all. You came together as one, but you leave as two which means you cannot expect to leave with one hundred percent (100%) of what you want. Accordingly, determine what you cannot live without and give up something else in order to get what you want to make sure that the division between the parties is equitable. A reputable lawyer will certainly attempt to secure for our clients more than fifty percent (50%) of the parties’ assets, but our doing so requires a fine-tuned plan and a comprehensive execution on that plan. Therefore, if you are facing a divorce, develop an extensive plan with a competent lawyer, execute on that plan, and move onward as quickly as possible.