Divorces are generally grouped into two main categories: simple and complex. But while some divorces are firmly in one camp or the other from the get-go, other cases start out simple but become complex during the process. What causes this to happen? Here are five common reasons yours may evolve over time.
1. A Contentious Spouse
Your divorce may appear relatively cut-and-dried on paper, but your spouse can make things much more complicated in person. They may change their mind about things you thought were settled, for instance, bring up new issues, or argue minute details within the agreement. A spouse who digs in their heels may not be deterred by the time, energy, or monetary investment in a long, drawn-out trial.
2. Hidden Assets or Debts
When a couple can put all their assets and debts on the table and honestly negotiate over them, they may be able to work out the division reasonably easily. However, during disclosure – or worse, during your own research – you may find that your spouse hasn’t told the whole truth.
Are there hidden assets you didn’t know about? Debts that were taken out during the marriage without your knowledge or consent? Have assets been physically moved or transferred out of the spouse’s name to avoid disclosure? Any of these actions not only make the existing negotiations harder but also erode trust. If you have doubts about transparency, you may need to investigate much more on your own.
3. One Spouse Moving
Moving away from your spouse may be necessary or preferable after a divorce. But it can also make the actual divorce complicated. Why?
First, if one spouse lives in another state (or any long distance away), one of you will need to travel and do some legal elements long-distance. This makes their job more challenging. Because different jurisdictions have different rules, your division of assets may change, resulting in the need to litigate the case or start over with negotiations. And a long-distance move may make simple custody issues complicated.
4. A Spouse Who Contests
In order to move forward with a simple divorce, it must generally be uncontested. This means that both parties agree to the divorce and on the major issues. But not all spouses actually want to follow through with the divorce.
One tactic sometimes taken by a spouse who doesn’t really want the divorce is to delay things by dragging out the process. They may hope that they will get the time to convince the other not to finalize. When this emotional plea is the motive, attempts to find reasonable solutions during negotiations may be impossible.
5. Complicated Assets
During discovery, both parties provide details about their assets. These assets can sometimes turn a case from simple to complex. For instance, if your spouse has a stake in a business, that business’s financials and structure could be complicated. You may need to value the business, determine your spouse’s income potential, and manage restrictions in how the interest can be sold or transferred.
Where Can You Learn More?
Clearly, any divorce case can take a turn and wind up being a lot more than you bargained for. If you think this may happen – or has already happened – to your divorce proceedings, the best resource is an experienced divorce attorney in your state. They will work with you to analyze your particular divorce, the elements causing it to be complex, and your options going forward. Then you can start making a plan.
Law Offices of Lynda Latta, LLC, has helped New Mexico residents with all their divorce needs for more than 35 years. Call today to make an appointment and learn how we can help you.