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What to Know About Delays and Practice Valuations When It Comes to Divorce


What’s the hurry and what are the problems? The divorce will be here sooner or later.

What to Know About Delays and Practice Valuations When It Comes to Divorce


There can be some major issues when a divorce is not progressing in a timely manner. Those who have been through the process understand that the longer things take, usually the more money it is going to cost each party to complete the proceedings.

While an attorney may be delaying things because of his or her work schedule, the client is suffering from the lack of a point in time to begin living his or her new life. If it’s the client himself, or herself, holding things back, then shame on the client. When a dental practice is involved in the proceedings, it is usual to retain an expert evaluator to determine the value of the practice once the attorneys and any other advisors may be in place.

This typically means another 2 to 3 weeks of time needed for the evaluator to complete his or her report for the attorney. While all of these things are taking place and holding up the mediation or court date, the clients are suffering from a financial standpoint as any major decisions are almost always put on hold until things are ready for the court room.

What are some of the problems?

For the dentist, some of the problems may entail the delay in ordering new equipment and instruments. Expansion of the office will almost certainly be put on hold until his or her financial position is understood either by order of the court or from the settlement among the parties that would have been agreed upon. Hiring or firing of personnel will be postponed since the dentist does not know what his or her cash flow will be until the final disposition of the funds has become known.

In other words, the dentist’s future has been suspended until the reality of the situation has been finalized. The sooner the resolution, the sooner it will become clear that he or she can go ahead with the plans that have been postponed while waiting for the outcome of the case. It is just as bad for the spouse of the dentist in that he or she is also waiting for the final resolution of the divorce in order to make plans for his or her future. Where does the spouse end up living? If there are children involved, where will they be going to school? Will he or she have enough money each week for the essential food, clothing and shelter? While each party to the divorce may have different objectives, from a financial approach, the delay will certainly affect them—maybe not equally‑—but certainly in some way.

Solutions to the problems:

While it may seem like the problems are never going to be settled, there is always the knowledge from the clients’ advisors that they have seen this type of situation before. There is always an ending where almost no one is satisfied but all are resigned to the fact that the situation is finally over.

Looking back, each litigant could have used the time allowed during the beginning of the process to determine their course of action. Since, when the emotions are typically over if the case is taking a long time, it almost always comes down to the situation where the question becomes one of money. Which spouse is going to pay and how much money will it cost to settle the problems.

Since it is typically the dentist who is doing the paying and the spouse of the dentist who receives the funds, time is not on the dentist’s side. If the case is taking too long, opportunities will pass by the dentist and he or she will suffer financially. The spouse will be suffering financially as well. The question may become who has the strongest stomach to make it through this opening salvo of delay.

Additional solutions to stop the delay:

The conclusion of the matter is that the delay really has an impact on each party to the divorce. The dentist may feel like he or she is in favor of the delay, and/or the spouse may also feel like that is the case.

If one of the parties wants to move ahead, there are things that can be done such as hiring the dental practice evaluator with plenty of experience in working with dentists. The evaluation can be completed and presented to the litigant who retained that dental practice evaluator. His or her attorney can file motions with court that they are ready for the trial. That will put pressure on the other side to get started since the judge will realize which is the delaying party. Sanctions can be requested against the delaying side. These are some of the things that will put pressure on the party who may want the delay since he or she feels it is to their benefit.

What if everything is put on hold and the other side refuses to comply?

Since everything almost always comes down to an issue of money, the spouse who does not want the delay can have his or her attorney, file numerous motions with the court, some of which may be emergency motions to attempt to put pressure on the other side to come in front of the judge and to spend money on their attorney as well.

In some cases, this means getting in front of a judge who may be angry that the case in front of him or her is just going on too long and the judge’s docket is getting jammed up. The age of the case will make the judge want resolution with the fact that old cases without finalization make the judge look bad to his or her peers. This all becomes an issue of money since every time a motion is filed with the court, it costs the party doing the filing as well as the party doing the answering in additional legal fees to be able to get the judge’s attention.

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