Ever wonder how to speed up the divorce process? Here are the Top 10 things you can do to get a fast divorce:
- File a complaint – Sometimes it is preferable not to file a complaint right away with the intention of ironing out the terms of a settlement agreement before the court has to get involved. However, if your spouse is dragging his or her feet and won’t play along, you have no choice but to file a complaint to force the matter to move forward, with or without the other spouse participating.
- Comply with discovery – Often times the impediment to settlement is one or both parties’ failure to produce discovery. If you or your spouse feels the need to review bank statements or other records prior to agreeing to a settlement, rather than argue about why he or she needs them, just produce them. We see people waste months and months arguing about discovery only to have to ultimately produce everything anyway. It is better to just do it from the beginning, even if it seems like it’s a total waste of time, because then it’s just one less argument to have before talking settlement.
- File a motion – Sometimes when one party is sitting pretty in an advantageous position, particularly if it’s better than the situation they will likely be in once the divorce is over, they simply won’t move forward. They try to postpone the inevitable. We do not encourage filing motions for no reason. You need a legitimate reason to file a motion, but depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be useful in applying some pressure to the other party to make him or her want to settle. This is particularly true if your spouse refuses to produce reasonable discovery. You can file a motion to compel them to do so or the court will impose sanctions, which can include dismissing his or her pleadings.
- Hire an expert – If there is an issue that you have been unsuccessful resolving which seems to be interfering with a settlement, consider whether hiring an expert is necessary. People often postpone hiring an expert because it is costly. However, sometimes this is just what the other party needs to feel pressure to make a decision.
- Serve Subpoenas – If discovery is one of the reasons your case won’t move forward, don’t wait for your spouse to produce the records you want. Just serve Subpoenas for them. Sometimes this makes the other party feel uncomfortable enough to get things done. Sometimes it just gets you the documents you need to feel comfortable entering into a settlement. Either way, it can save months arguing over discovery disputes.
- Talk to your spouse – Often times the only reason the parties haven’t reached an agreement is because they simply haven’t talked about it. Try this early in the process. You may not be as far apart as you think.
- Go to mediation – If you have tried to talk to your spouse (or even if you haven’t) and you need a third party to help “referee” or just make suggestions and guide the dialogue, mediation can be an excellent alternative to litigation. You can mediate at any time in the process, before the complaint is filed and any time after that.
- Go to mediation without attorneys – We are not too egotistical to say that sometimes it’s the attorneys (or sometimes just one party’s attorney) that prevents a settlement. If you think it’s hard to get two people to agree on something, try getting four people to agree! This can be particularly problematic if your case has already dragged on for months and months. Sometimes a mediator who can see things with “fresh eyes” can get it done without talking about “law” and just helping you make some common sense decisions.
- Go to mediation Again and Again! – Don’t expect to get your case settled in one mediation session. You may have to go back several times. However, it is worth it and will likely save you money if you can manage to settle. A few mediation sessions is much less costly than months of litigation.
- Compromise – If you have decided what you want your settlement to be and you refuse to move off of that position, you may be the reason you’re not getting divorced. Both parties need to come to the table ready to move off their respective positions. This doesn’t mean you have to give in to what your spouse wants. It just means you have to be willing to not get all of what you want, just some of what you want. No one ever gets everything they want, but if you play your cards right, you may get what you need.
CONTACT US today if you want to schedule a consultation to help us to you through these steps and get a fast divorce.