Do you feel as though you’ve been in the process of divorce since the beginning of time? Are you ready to wrap it up and move on with life? If you are, take these steps to assess the situation and ascertain what, if anything, you can do to finalize your divorce.
1. Use our Divorce Issues Checklist to identify all of the unresolved issues in your case (i.e. child custody, property division).
2. Determine why divorce issues remain unresolved. Ask yourself: “What or who has prevented resolution of this matter? Am I responsible for the impasse? Is my lawyer, my husband, his lawyer, our mediator or the court delaying matters?”
3. Once you identify the reason or reasons your divorce hasn’t moved steadfastly forward, take action to get things back on track. If you aren’t sure how to begin, consider these scenarios.
a. If all of the issues in your case are resolved but the court documents haven’t been filed, call your lawyer and give him/her instructions to prepare your proposed judgment, settlement and/or final decree. Alternatively, pick-up or download your state’s legal forms and filing instructions and get to work.
b. If some of the divorce issues are unresolved because you’ve been unwilling to settle them, reconsider your positions. Ask yourself which is more important, finalizing the divorce as soon as possible or fighting for a desired outcome. If the unresolved issues are trivial, consider conceding and closing your case. If on the other hand the issues are critical, enlist the services of a mediator to help you and your husband reach a mutually agreeable settlement or, schedule your case for a court hearing or trial and begin preparing immediately.
c. If none of the issues in your case have been resolved use our Divorce Planning tools to get your case underway.
d. If some of the divorce issues are unresolved because your husband has been unwilling to settle them, determine whether mediation is an option. If it is, schedule a session as soon as feasibly possible. If it isn’t, schedule a court settlement conference and if necessary, a court hearing or trial date.
e. If your divorce issues remain unresolved because the court or an expert hasn’t completed a necessary step, ask your lawyer to contact the court or expert to determine if there’s anything you can do to move things along. If there is, get on it as soon as possible.
f. If the reasons for the stalemate in your divorce are completely out of your control, be as patient and persistent as possible and do your best to live your live to its fullest.