How Long Can a Divorce Be Put On Hold?

Couples pondering the complicated divorce decision may ask themselves how much they can postpone it. This complex question depends on various factors and personal circumstances that may influence the duration of the process.

In this blog post, we’ll answer the question of how long can a divorce be put on hold and explore common reasons for delaying divorce proceedings. Additionally, we shall dig deeper into the financial implications of delayed divorces and reasons to work with attorneys during the holding period. 

Putting Divorce Proceedings on Hold

How long can a divorce be put on hold? Couples can generally put a hold on their divorce proceedings for 60 to 90 days. This time can be used to seek marriage counseling and decide whether the marriage has a future. It is recommended to consult a lawyer for legal advice on the options available if one believes filing was an erroneous action.

Seeking Marriage Counseling During the Pause Period

If you and your spouse are unsure about moving forward with the divorce process, seeking professional guidance through marriage counseling may be beneficial. It allows both parties to address any underlying issues that led to considering divorce in the first place. Additionally, it provides open communication and reflection opportunities before making a life-altering decision.

Reasons To Work With Attorneys During Holding Periods

An experienced attorney can guide you through the necessary steps to suspend your divorce, such as submitting a motion for abatement. It may include a motion to abate or suspend the divorce proceedings, which typically requires approval from a judge. Here are some major reasons why you need to work with a divorce attorney; 

Navigating Complex Legal Processes

With the experience specialized attorneys have, they can help navigate the complex legal processes involved in a divorce case. Divorce proceedings can be lengthy and complicated, involving various legal procedures and requirements. 

An attorney is well-versed in these processes and can provide valuable guidance and advice on proceeding. They can help you understand the laws that apply to your case and any court rules or procedures you need to follow. Additionally, they can negotiate fair settlements and advocate for your best interests at every step.

Filing Necessary Paperwork

Filing appropriate paperwork is essential during holding periods in a divorce case. This paperwork may include motions for suspension, child custody arrangements, and other related documents. 

An experienced attorney can ensure that these filings are accurate and timely so there are no delays when resuming proceedings later. They can also help you gather any necessary documents and information, such as financial statements or tax returns, that may be required during the divorce process.

Maintaining Open Communication

It is essential to keep the lines of communication open and work toward a resolution that works for both parties. However, emotions can often run high during this time, making communication difficult. 

Having an impartial attorney can help facilitate these conversations and mediate any disputes that may arise. They can provide a neutral perspective and help both parties work towards a mutually beneficial solution.

Protecting Your Rights

Attorneys can ensure that your interests are represented in property division, child custody, and spousal support. They can help you understand your legal rights and options and inform you of any changes in laws or regulations that could impact your case. 

Additionally, they can help you navigate any legal issues that may arise during the proceedings, such as disputes over asset valuation or the enforceability of prenuptial agreements.

Addressing Settlement Agreements Before Pausing Divorce

Crucial issues like settlement agreements should be addressed before putting divorce cases on hold.

Child Custody Arrangements Before Halting Proceedings

Couples to discuss and agree upon child custody arrangements before putting the divorce on hold. This includes determining physical and legal custody, visitation schedules, and any necessary modifications in the future. By resolving these issues ahead of time, both parents can ensure their children’s well-being during the holding period.

Reasons Behind Delaying Divorces

Here are some of the reasons behind delaying divorces; 

Disagreement Between the Parties

Regarding divorce proceedings, one of the most significant factors that can lead to delays is a disagreement between the parties involved. Disputes can arise over various issues, including child custody, spousal support, property division, etc. When both parties cannot come to a mutual agreement, the case may proceed to court, leading to a prolonged legal process.

The Complexity of the Case

When a divorce case involves high net-worth individuals, multiple assets and properties, or other complex financial arrangements, the process may take longer to resolve due to the increased complexity of the case. In these situations, ensuring that all assets and liabilities are identified, valued, and divided equitably is essential. This process can be complicated, time-consuming, and require high attention to detail.

Dividing assets and liabilities in a high net-worth divorce case can involve complex negotiations, appraisals, and expert opinions. For example, assets such as businesses, stocks, and investments may need to be valued accurately, which may require hiring financial experts. Additionally, the parties may need to provide extensive financial disclosure, which can be time-consuming and require significant documentation.

Issues With Documentation and Paperwork

When one or both parties fail to provide all the necessary documentation, such as financial statements or tax returns, it can cause significant delays in the divorce process. The documentation is crucial for the court to make informed decisions regarding property division, spousal support, child support, and other financial arrangements.

If one party intentionally withholds information, it can further delay the process and cause frustration for the other party. This delay can be caused by various reasons, including a lack of willingness to disclose financial information or a desire to gain a tactical advantage in negotiations.

To avoid delays caused by documentation issues, both parties must provide accurate financial information. This may involve gathering documents such as bank statements, investment portfolios, retirement account statements, and other financial documents. Providing this information early in the process can help ensure that negotiations move forward smoothly and without unnecessary delays.

Emotional Factors

Emotional factors can also contribute to delays in divorce proceedings. For example, one or both parties may hesitate to move forward with the divorce due to fear, uncertainty, or attachment. These emotions can make it difficult for individuals to make clear and informed decisions, leading to a slowdown. Additionally, the emotional toll of a divorce can be significant, making it challenging for individuals to focus on the legal aspects of the process.

Financial Implications for Delayed Divorces

  • Avoiding Child Support Payments: In some cases, delaying a divorce could be financially motivated – particularly regarding child support payments. Delaying the divorce might be sought out by one partner to reduce the amount of child support payments due after it is finalized.
  • Tax Avoidance Strategies: Another financial reason for delaying divorces involves tax considerations. For example, suppose spouses remain married until after December 31st. In that case, they can file joint tax returns for that year, resulting in potential savings compared to filing separately as divorced individuals.
  • Status Quo Maintenance: Sometimes couples opt for prolonging their legal marital status because it allows them access to certain benefits like health insurance coverage through their partner’s employer or maintaining their current living situation.

It is important to note that while there may be valid reasons for delaying a divorce, doing so can also have negative consequences. For instance, unresolved issues might fester and lead to more animosity between the couple. Additionally, lengthy divorce proceedings can take an emotional toll on everyone involved – especially children caught in the middle of the conflict.

When considering delaying your divorce process, it’s crucial to weigh all factors carefully and consult with professionals such as divorce attorneys and financial advisors who can help you make informed decisions based on your circumstances.

The Impact of Delayed Divorces on Children

Sad girl with fighting parents behind her

The decision to delay a divorce can positively and negatively affect children. On the one hand, postponing separation could provide stability and consistency within their lives while parents attempt reconciliation. However, prolonged exposure to conflict between parents can harm children’s emotional well-being – read more about this topic at Psychology Today. Couples with children need to weigh these factors carefully before deciding whether delaying their divorce would be beneficial overall.

Making the call to postpone a divorce can be tricky, so couples need to grasp the emotional and financial effects of such an action. Talking is vital while postponing a divorce to secure each person’s rights.


How long can a divorce be put on hold? The length of time a divorce can be put on hold depends on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, court backlog, and emotional factors. While delays are often frustrating, it’s important to remember that each divorce case is unique and requires a personalized approach. 

To avoid prolonging the process, it’s crucial to address any issues as soon as they arise and work towards a resolution that is in the best interests of all parties involved. Patience and persistence are key when navigating the often-complicated divorce process and achieving a successful outcome within a reasonable timeframe.

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