What to Do if Your Spouse Delays the Divorce Process
Divorce can be a long and stressful process, especially if your former partner seems to be trying to delay it as much as possible. If this is happening to you, it’s important to understand that there are strategies available to fight back against the delay tactics and keep the case proceeding as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Steps to take to prevent delays
In some cases, individuals attempt to delay a divorce in hopes of repairing the relationship. They could ask the court for extensions, or simply refuse to respond to any filings you have made in court.
As soon as the deadline for responding to the paperwork has passed, you are able to seek a default judgment, in which a judge gives you exactly what you are seeking in your divorce petition. Because your spouse did not respond, the court could assume that he or she agrees to the terms you have set. You will still need to show the court you provided your spouse with proper notice, but the chances of a positive result are good.
What’s more frustrating is when your spouse does respond, but takes as long as possible to do so. There are situations in which individuals will request extensions, regularly cancel depositions and refuse to agree to mediation times. You might have to take stronger action to get your former spouse to cooperate in these situations. For example, if the individual continually cancels depositions, you may file a formal motion to have the court take action.
Many individuals are happy to be married once. Many individuals are happy when that first marriage ends and would never think of marrying again. However, one woman, in the Bronx, was so enamored with the idea of being married that she didn’t stop with one marriage, or even two. She was married ten times, and at one time was married to eight men at the same time.
In fact, Liana Barrientos was not, it would seem, marrying for love. Rather, she was part of a larger scheme to assist men in entering this country while avoiding ICE detection. She has been charged with filing a false instrument, her application for a marriage license and the signed marriage license itself. Additionally, she is being investigated by homeland security for her actions.
While this situation is not very common and has therefore grabbed the attention of the media, there are situations where an individual may have been previously married and abandoned their first spouse only to start a new life with a new “spouse”. If both parties are happy it would seem that this situation should not be a problem. However, where a spouse disappears and “re-marries” both the old spouse and new spouse may suffer.
In the State of Utah property acquired during a marriage, with limited exceptions, will be considered joint property. If a prior spouse is abandoned, all of their acquired wealth is subject to equitable distribution should a prior spouse re-enter that spouse’s life. This prevents a spouse from pursuing their own happiness as they are constantly in danger of having their property “equitably distributed” between themselves and a spouse who has been absent and holding themselves out as married to another person.
With respect to a second, or third or fourth, spouse, they will not be entitled to any equitable distribution of their “spouse’s” assets. As there is no valid marriage, there would be no equitable distribution and therefore, if the parties were to divorce, the “new spouse” would be prevented from obtaining a share of the martial assets, as there would not, in fact, be any marital assets.
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It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
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