How to Delay Divorce Proceedings

Title: How to Delay Divorce Proceedings: A Guide for Couples Seeking More Time


Divorce can be an emotionally challenging process, and sometimes couples may find themselves needing more time to sort out their affairs before finalizing the separation. Delaying divorce proceedings can provide spouses with an opportunity to reconsider their decision, seek counseling, or attempt reconciliation. In this article, we will explore various strategies to help couples navigate the legal system and buy themselves some extra time before making the final decision to divorce.

1. Communicate openly with your spouse:
Maintaining open lines of communication is crucial during this time. Discuss your desire to delay the divorce proceedings and explore if your spouse shares the same sentiment. If both parties agree, you can work together to request a temporary postponement.

2. Obtain legal counsel:
Hiring an experienced divorce attorney is essential in understanding your rights, options, and the legal procedures involved in delaying divorce proceedings. They can guide you through the process and advise on the best approach for your specific situation.

3. Seek marriage counseling:
If there’s a chance of reconciliation, attending marriage counseling sessions can help address the underlying issues and provide an opportunity for both partners to work on their relationship. Some courts may require couples to participate in counseling before granting a divorce, thus inadvertently delaying the proceedings.

See also  What Is a Legal Racetrack Pitch

4. File for a legal separation:
Filing for legal separation can put a temporary hold on the divorce process. This allows spouses to take a step back, live apart, and evaluate their feelings and options before proceeding with the divorce.

5. Request mediation or arbitration:
Opting for mediation or arbitration can provide a less adversarial approach to divorce. This alternative dispute resolution method can help couples find common ground, potentially leading to a delay in proceedings while working towards a resolution.

6. Contest the divorce petition:
If one spouse contests the divorce petition, it can significantly slow down the proceedings. This requires the court to schedule hearings and gather evidence to determine the validity of the grounds for divorce, ultimately providing additional time for both parties.

7. Negotiate temporary agreements:
When couples can agree on temporary arrangements for child custody, spousal support, and asset division, it can help delay the divorce process. Courts often encourage such agreements, granting more time for the spouses to resolve their disputes amicably.

8. Request a continuance:
If there are valid reasons to postpone court hearings or trial dates, such as illness, scheduling conflicts, or the need for additional time to gather evidence, you can request a continuance. However, it is essential to consult with your attorney to ensure that the request is made appropriately.

9. Pursue a dismissal:
In rare cases, if both spouses are committed to working on their marriage, they can jointly request a dismissal of the divorce petition. This action effectively halts the proceedings and allows couples to give their relationship another chance.

See also  What Can I Do if My Husband Refuses to Divorce


1. Can I delay divorce proceedings indefinitely?
No, the court has the final say on the duration of the delay. However, by following the steps mentioned above, you can buy yourself some additional time to sort out your affairs.

2. Will delaying the divorce affect child custody arrangements?
Temporary custody arrangements can be made during the period of delay. However, it is essential to ensure that the children’s best interests are prioritized throughout the process.

3. Can I delay the divorce if my spouse does not agree?
While it may be more challenging, you can still pursue a delay by utilizing legal strategies mentioned, such as contesting the divorce or requesting a continuance.

4. Is counseling mandatory before a divorce is granted?
In some jurisdictions, courts may require couples to attend counseling sessions before finalizing a divorce. However, this requirement varies depending on the jurisdiction.

5. How can I finance the delay in divorce proceedings?
Financial considerations can be challenging during this time. Discussing financial arrangements with your attorney and exploring available resources, such as loans or temporary support, can help manage the costs associated with delaying the divorce.

6. Can I date other people while delaying the divorce?
It is essential to consult with your attorney regarding the legal implications of dating during the divorce process, as it can impact the proceedings.

See also  Where to Report Alimony Paid on 1040

7. Will delaying the divorce affect property division?
Delaying divorce proceedings can provide more time to negotiate property division. However, it is important to consult with your attorney to ensure that your rights are protected during this period.

8. Can my spouse force me to proceed with the divorce?
Ultimately, both parties must agree to proceed with the divorce. If one spouse is opposed to the delay, they can contest it in court, and a judge will make the final decision.

9. Can I change my mind about delaying the divorce?
Yes, you can change your mind at any point during the delay and proceed with the divorce. It is essential to communicate your decision with your attorney to ensure they can guide you through the process effectively.


Delaying divorce proceedings can provide couples with valuable time to reassess their choices, seek counseling, or attempt reconciliation. By utilizing effective communication, seeking legal counsel, and exploring alternative dispute resolution methods, couples can navigate the legal system while buying themselves some additional time. Remember, every situation is unique, and consulting with an experienced divorce attorney can provide valuable guidance tailored to your specific needs.