Archive for July, 2011

How Long Should My Divorce Take?

by Attorney David Engler

Not too long ago many divorce cases took years to get resolved. It was not uncommon for a divorce trial to start and stop, then be reset in 45 days. Sometimes a lawyer will state that he is busy with another matter, or a criminal case takes priority over the domestic relations court docket. Beware that these are usually tactics to simply prolong the inevitable divorce entry. In Cuyahoga County in particular the Supreme Court pushed the Court to adhere to the general rules that a case with children should be resolved within 18 months and cases without children should not sit on the docket longer than 9 months. (See Plain Dealer Article) All courts in Ohio and elsewhere have to abide by rules promulgated by the Supreme Court.

The idea is to end abuse by one side that benefits from protracted litigation and costs the litigants unnecessary legal fees and the court’s tax dollars. It is especially true in a short term marriage where the parties have been married for less than three years without children and one side wants to drag the process out, knowing that spousal support is unlikely to be granted. It is the court’s responsibility to move a case along, but is always helpful to the party being penalized by the delay to have their lawyer speak up.

I cannot say there are no winners when divorce actions are delayed because the party getting temporary benefits prior to the divorce is actually winning. There are certainly two losers which is usually the person paying the temporary support, the court and sadly enough the children who do not benefit from no finality in the breakup of a family.

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