Delaying the divorce process creates a variety of problems. From financial to emotional, there is rarely a benefit to delaying. However, everyone’s situation is different. Speak with an attorney if you have concerns regarding beginning the divorce process. Many of your concerns may stem from stress and anxiety. Speaking with a trained professional can help ease your mind and help you begin the divorce process.
Delaying the divorce process may cause an enormous financial burden. Oftentimes, the dissipation of assets goes hand-in-hand with delaying the divorce. Dissipation of assets is the unjustified wasting of marital assets through extravagant spending, gifts, thereby depleting the assets.
Once a divorce action is commenced, courts can issue orders to prevent the dissipation of assets. If the parties choose to litigate, the person accused of dissipation is under an obligation to establish by clear and specific evidence how marital funds were spent.
If one or both spouses own a business, depending on when the business is valued can have significant financial impacts. Typically, active assets (any marital property that can change in value due to the actions of its owner) are determined at the date of separation. If this weren’t the case, a spouse may try to diminish the asset’s value as the divorce proceedings commence. New Jersey courts typically values assets at the date of complaint.
In a New Jersey appeals case, the husband owned a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. The seat nearly doubled in value between the time of the filing of the divorce complaint and the time of the divorce trial. The Court ruled that the date of the divorce trial should be used as the valuation date. In this case, the increase in value was viewed as entirely passive since it was not based on the actions of either party.
If parties cannot resolve their disputes in an out of court process, they will each likely obtain separate attorneys and litigate. Thus, parties will spend additional funds on attorney fees and court costs. It’s in the financial interests of both parties to either mediate or collaborate.
However, in some circumstances these options may not be possible.
Delaying a divorce can also prevent one or both parties from remaining in limbo. Legally, both spouses are still married. While one spouse may emotionally start moving on, neither spouse can fully move on until the divorce is final.
Additionally, children may become damaged from the tension in the household. Couples may believe that it’s better to stay together for the children. However, children can often feel the tension in an unhappy home. If parents choose to divorce, the children will feel less anxious about their parents’ conflicts.
Children deserve loving and supportive relationships from both parents. When parents remove their children from toxic household environments, parents thus show their children that they are loved and supported. Moreover, a child will feel unsafe during violent outbursts and arguments. Thus, by divorcing, you allow the child to feel safe and secure from potential arguments.
Before you decide to delay the divorce process, think about why you want you want to delay. Think about the impact the delay will have on your finances, your children, your future relationship with your spouse, and the impact it will have on you. Speaking with an attorney can be the first step in deciding when to start your divorce.