What to Do When Your Husband's Attorney Is Not Responding to the Divorce

By Jennifer Williams

Divorce can be frustrating and stressful enough, without the process bogging down due to an unresponsive opposing counsel. The court process for divorces is comprised of very specific stages. If your husband's attorney does not respond during any or all of these stages, your case stalls. If you don't have your own lawyer to force a response from his fellow lawyer, there are options that you can exercise yourself.

Divorce can be frustrating and stressful enough, without the process bogging down due to an unresponsive opposing counsel. The court process for divorces is comprised of very specific stages. If your husband's attorney does not respond during any or all of these stages, your case stalls. If you don't have your own lawyer to force a response from his fellow lawyer, there are options that you can exercise yourself.

Compel a Response

If neither you nor your husband can't get his attorney to respond, it may be time to get the court involved. If the attorney fails to respond to a deadline or to produce requested information, after the deadline has passed, you may file a motion to compel his response. A motion to compel asks the court to tell the unresponsive attorney to follow through and produce the required documents.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Call a Conference

A motion for status conference is another way to bring the court's attention to the attorney's unresponsiveness. Generally, any party to a case may file such a motion. Once at the conference, the judge takes a look at the case's progress and orders the case to proceed to the next phase by a certain date.

Sound the Alarm

You may file a motion with the court asking for emergency relief at any point after the petition for divorce is filed. If your spouse's lawyer becomes unresponsive, filing a motion for emergency support is a way to get the attention of your spouse, his attorney and the court. An emergency motion for relief tells the court you need immediate help, in the form or spousal or child support or additional support, or even insurance coverage or attorney's fees. It's important to tell the court you need this emergency help because your spouse is not cooperating in moving the divorce toward closure, which means he must remedy the financial or other damage his non-cooperation has caused you. Such motions also should include a request for reimbursement of the attorney's fees incurred in bringing the motion, as it would not have been necessary, and the fees not incurred, if your spouse and his attorney were actively pursuing the divorce.

Mediator Involvement

If you've started negotiations for property division, support and children's issues, but your spouse's attorney's failure to respond to settlement offers has stalled the process, you might ask to the court to order mediation. In some states, such as Florida, the law requires judges to order mediation, but even states that don't require it allow you to ask for it. Generally, courts feel it saves time and money, for both the litigants and the court system, for issues to be decided by the spouses rather than for the divorce to go to trial. If the court grants your motion for voluntary mediation, the mediation becomes court-ordered and your spouse, and his attorney, must comply or risk being held in contempt of court.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
What Does a Divorce Attorney Do?

References

Related articles

Cross-Motions In Divorce

Cross-motions and motions are as inseparable as macaroni and cheese -- a cross-motion in a legal proceeding is a response to a motion. Motions are a request for a court order and can be made before, during and after a trial. Either party can file a motion asking a family law judge for an order relating to issues involving custody, visitation, child support, spousal support or restraining orders to keep the parties apart during the divorce process. The opposing party has the right not only respond to the motion, but also to ask for its own court orders in its cross-motion.

What Happens in Divorce Court?

If you're headed for divorce court, you might be a bundle of nerves about facing the unknown. While worrying about the outcome might be warranted, the actual legal process is structured and orderly, and it doesn't have to be intimidating. Different proceedings have varying protocols.

What Do You Tell the Court if You & Your Spouse Don't Want a Divorce Anymore?

When you take legal steps to end your marriage, you invite the court into your personal life. However, all states recognize no-fault divorce so you don't have to air your dirty laundry if you file your petition or complaint on no-fault grounds. The same applies to stopping your divorce proceedings if you change your mind about breaking up. You do not have to go into intimate detail when you ask the court to either postpone or dismiss your case.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Answer Divorce Interrogatories

Interrogatories and depositions are part of the discovery process in a divorce lawsuit. Discovery allows both parties ...

What Happens When Your Spouse Disappears in the Middle of Your Divorce and Is Represented by Counsel?

It's possible for a spouse to disappear midway through divorce proceedings, especially if he doesn’t want the ...

Legal Actions if You Don't Pay a Divorce Settlement in Ohio

When you reach a marital settlement agreement with your spouse, a judge will review the agreement, approve it and ...

My Spouse Is Unwilling to Sign Divorce Papers in Georgia

Filing for divorce is a stressful process, and it is not always the case that both spouses want the divorce to proceed. ...

Browse by category