All divorces have their own set of features, but you can generally group them into two overall categories: complex and simple. Some divorces are clearly in one camp or the other from the start; however, other divorce cases begin as simple but become complex as they play out. This can be caused by many things, including these five common reasons a divorce case becomes complicated.
An Angry Spouse
A divorce can seem to be pretty cut and dry on paper, but a contentious spouse can make things far more complicated in person. They may, for example, change their mind on issues you thought had been settled, bring up some new issues, or argue details at the last minute when it comes to the divorce agreement. Unfortunately, a spouse who is digging their heels in during the process may not be deterred by the money, energy, and time required for a drawn-out divorce or a divorce trial.
Concealed Debts or Assets
When a divorcing couple puts all their debts and assets on the table and has honest negotiations about it, they might be able to work out the property division relatively easily. However, if you discover your spouse isn’t telling the full truth during the financial disclosure section of your divorce or according to your own research, it will complicate matters immediately.
If you feel your spouse may be hiding debts or assets, follow your instincts and do some deeper research. Speak to your attorney for help, too, as you may need to bring in an outside professional to help uncover hidden assets or liabilities.
One Spouse’s Move
During a divorce, one spouse moving away from the other may be preferable or even necessary. However, this can also make the divorce more complicated.
If, for example, you now live a longer distance away from your spouse, there will be more travel and logistics to consider when it comes to the divorce. Should you have children with your spouse, it will also create some snags in the custody process.
A Contesting Spouse
A simple divorce, in general, needs to be uncontested. This means that both spouses agree on the major issues and on getting a divorce in the first place. However, there is always a chance that your spouse will decide they don’t really want to go through with the divorce. They can’t prevent you from getting it, but they can delay things considerably by dragging the process out. It can be very difficult to negotiate and reach decisions with someone whose judgment is clouded by their emotions, and you and your spouse may not share the same motivations at that point, either.
During the discovery phase of your divorce, you and your spouse will exchange details about all of your assets. The assets themselves can sometimes turn a case into a complex one. For example, if you have an investment in a business, the structure and finances of that business may be complicated. The business would need to be valued and your income potential from it determined. You may also have to deal with restrictions on how your business interest can be transferred or sold from the business itself.
Any divorce case can make a sudden turn and become more complicated than you imagined. If you believe this may happen or if it is happening now, contact an experienced divorce attorney for help. An attorney will take a closer look at your divorce and its elements so you know what to expect and what your options are. This way, you are more prepared and can begin making a plan.