How to start working together in a stalled divorce
Written by Kristine Reich

How to start working together in a stalled divorce

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The path to getting divorced is seldom smooth. After agreeing to spend your lives together, admitting a new path is necessary is hard. Unfortunately, this sometimes means delays in the process. And when you have a stalled divorce, you may struggle to move ahead.

Divorces stall out for many reasons. This can add costs, both emotional and financial. You may find it tempting to dig in for a fight. Before you let the divorce turn ugly, hire the right professionals and generate options that can help bring closure. Collaborative divorce can make the process less frustrating.

Causes of a Stalled Divorce

It is not unusual for divorce to be experienced in the same stages as grief: denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. In many cases, you and your spouse can be in very different stages of processing grief.  One of you may be dragging feet in hopes of making it work and the other may be well on the way of acceptance. Navigating through different stages is common in many stalled divorces.

Other times, one person may feel scared of the unknown, and puts the brakes on in the hopes of finding answers. The longer the process goes, the more expensive it becomes. Some people drag things out to force a better settlement. And sometimes stalled divorce may even come out of spite for resentments during the marriage.

Whatever the reasons, a stalled divorce creates problems. More people get involved, and more frustrations build. The need to move on gets overcome by a need to strike back. The more things escalate, the harder it is to get back on track.  By having insight and support, people can break impasse and resolve the issues and feelings that are keeping them stuck.

How to Restart the Process

There are steps you can take in court (e.g. filing motions or requesting hearings) to get things moving again, but none of these steps will help heal the wounds divorce creates. Before you go into attack mode, you may find an olive branch is most effective. Divorce won’t ever be easy, but you can find ways to find common ground. Talk to your spouse about the need to move forward from a stalled divorce.

This will not always work, but finding a way to speak respectfully about the issues of your divorce is worth the effort. A stalled divorce doesn’t benefit either of you. You get more bitter and angry. And refusing to work together does not help you reconcile.

As stated by Nelson Mandela, “as I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

This is where Collaborative Divorce can make things less combative. Agreeing to a process to move ahead together helps push past those barriers. It gives you a chance to start fresh.  It helps you think about the future you want to live instead of the misery you are currently experiencing.

Keeping It Moving

A stalled divorce takes time to push through. Just because you get moving again does not guarantee you will want to keep going. You need to communicate and focus on finding the best result for yourselves and each other, particularly if you are co-parents. Communication is the key to all successful transitions.

Stalled divorce can happen with even the best of intentions. If you find yourself stuck, don’t give up. There are ways to help you and your spouse get through it.

If you feel stuck in a stalled divorce, we can help. Contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices to learn more about the collaborative process.  Collaborative Divorce does not mean you’re always going to get along with your spouse, but what it does mean is the opportunity to create a safe forum to productively break impasse and find your middle ground.