EP 157: Dirty Tricks Your Spouse Can Use to Delay Your Divorce


In an ideal world, it would take a minimal amount of time to go through a divorce. Unfortunately, in the real world, divorce is a slow process. Courts are packed, attorneys are slow, and the process often takes a year or two. However, it is possible to drag it out even longer, particularly if your spouse uses delay tactics. It can make your divorce more expensive and puts you in a much worse financial position. If your spouse is out to punish you, they can do so by dragging out the divorce.

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This episode is about some tricks that your spouse may use to delay your divorce. Also listen to episode 147, where we discussed ways to combat some of these tricks.

Be prepared if your spouse uses any of these tactics against you:

  1. Your spouse fails to respond to discovery.
  2. Your spouse changes lawyers.
  3. Your spouse does not communicate at all.
  4. Your spouse brings needless motions.

Discovery is one of the most important parts of the divorce process. It is important to understand what each spouse’s financial picture looks like. In a perfect world, both parties would be forthcoming, share their financial information, and be truthful. Unfortunately, your spouse might refuse to share information, delaying the process. They might not complete essential information. They may even lie. If several months have gone by and you still do not know what your spouse’s finances look like, it becomes a real problem. If this happens to you, you can force your spouse to react with a motion to compel.

Your spouse has the right to be represented by an attorney of their choosing. However, they may fire their attorney right before important court dates, delaying the hearing. It may take a month or more to get a new hearing. On top of that, the new attorney’s fees may come out of marital funds, so it may cost you money.

When your spouse is non-responsive, it slows down the whole process. They may even leave the state or the country. This can be dealt with through the courts.

This comes up with aggressive attorneys. It can be very frustrating to be on the receiving end of these motions. It drives up the cost of the divorce and adds unnecessary conflict. They may request continual extensions to drag the process out as long as they can.

Tactics like these can make divorce slower and nastier than it needs to be. By keeping a clear head, regardless of what your spouse is doing, you can make the decisions that will be best for you. Eventually this process will be over, so all you can do is control your reactions to end up in the best place possible.

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Thank you for listening!

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.