What is the Ideal Divorce Timeline?

Why does it matter if I get divorced today or a year from now? What benefit is there to me if I move through the process quickly? Lee Rosen, retired founder of the Rosen Law Firm, will fill you in.


Why should I get my divorce over with quickly? Transcript

Hi. I’m Lee Rosen. Why should I get my divorce over with quickly?

I had a situation not very long ago where a woman came in and met with us, and she wanted us to draft and negotiate a separation agreement, a pretty straightforward situation. And we did the work. We got the agreement ready, and we were at the point where we needed to go ahead and present it to her husband so that we could begin negotiating.

And we were just ready to email it to him with explanation of what we were up to. We were this close to hitting the send button. She sent us an email and said, “Wait, wait, wait, don’t do it.” And then we backed off, and we gave her a little bit of time. And a week went by, and she finally said, “Okay, now let’s go ahead and send it.” And again, an hour later, “No, no, no, don’t send it, don’t send it.”

And it’s this back and forth, stalling and delaying, not quite ready to move forward, and there are reasons why you don’t want to get into that situation. If you come to us and you’re ready to get a divorce, you need to go ahead and get it over with. You don’t want to leave it hanging. Let’s talk about why that’s the case.

Three things come to mind when I think about the need for speed in this process. First of all, the more you drag it out, the more expensive it becomes. Everybody’s spending money on attorney’s fees. You’re spending money. Your spouse is spending money. Time equals money in this legal world. And as the process takes more time, as weeks go by, you’re calling with questions, you’re dealing with your lawyer in one way or another, and the cash register is running. The bills are adding up. So delays are expensive.

Second big reason to keep this thing moving is that the emotional issues increase over time. As you drag things out, new emotional issues pop up. Unexpected things develop. Old issues come back to rear their ugly head. It’s an emotionally fraught environment. The more you can keep it on track and keep it moving, the better off you’re going to be. The more the emotional situation grows out of control, the harder it is to reach resolution.

And then finally-and this is a sensitive topic, but you need to know-the more time that passes because of delays, the more likely it is that a new girlfriend or boyfriend is going to enter into the picture, and the presence of these third parties never makes things better. It always complicates the situation and adds elements that just make it much more difficult to reach agreement. So the need for speed is there. Keep this thing moving.

Of course, this is a difficult time. It’s a difficult process. And delays, sometimes they feel unavoidable. Sometimes you feel like you just need to slow the process down. And we respect that. But we counsel against it. We really advise you to keep the thing moving forward and to get it over with.

Now if what’s really going on . . . if in the back of your mind, you’re thinking about reconciliation . . . if that’s why you’re slowing this thing down, then don’t just think about it. Do something about it. Get a professional involved. Get a counselor. Give it all of your energy toward reconciliation and see what’s going to happen so that you can free yourself to move on if it’s not going to work out.

Being in limbo, waiting, not acting-that’s not good for anybody. You need to get this thing done.

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