I need some legal advice on divorce. My divorce case has dragged on for four years. My wife is stalling the case (not showing up, not bringing the correct forms, etc.) The court has been very lenient with her, just setting another court date. I’m engaged to be married now and I want to be bifurcated so I can move on and get married and continue these dragged out court proceedings to end my marriage. How do I do this?
First let me preface my answer by stating that I am licensed to practice law in Oklahoma and not licensed to practice law in California, so I am unable to give you any specific advice regarding your question because I am not familiar with California statues and rules. However, I can give you a general response to your question, although for specific advice you need to speak to an attorney licensed in California.
Without being familiar with the specifics of your case and the various dealings that have occurred in Court your question is extremely difficult for me to answer. It is very common place for Courts to allow a continuance or two on a trial setting. The Courts are also more inclined to be lenient in cases where one or both of you are not represented by an attorney. As I am not familiar with the California specific options available to move your case forward I would recommend consulting an area attorney as to what can be done.
In Oklahoma, I would request a hearing or status conference for the Court to set a new trial date. Oklahoma has specific processes that must occur before a trial date is set to ensure both parties are ready for trial on the trial date. At the status conference I would ask the Court to order your wife to be present and ready for trial at that time or a default judgment may be taken against her. Then I would prepare for trial expecting to try the case on that date. If she appeared for trial and was not prepared, I would ask the Court to take a default judgment against her and grant the divorce.
Bradley K. Cunningham is a Senior Attorney in the Tulsa, Oklahoma office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. where his primary practice is exclusively in the area of domestic relations. Mr. Cunningham is licensed in the states of Oklahoma and Texas. After growing up in Tulsa, Mr. Cunningham moved to Arkansas where he received his undergraduate degree in Accounting from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. He then returned to Oklahoma and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma.