Can my husband extend a divorce case for an indefinite amount of time because he does not have an attorney?

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Can my husband extend a divorce case for an indefinite amount of time because he does not have an attorney?

We have a court date set for 5/02. He has been gone from the home under a relief from abuse order for nearly a year. He is letting everyone understand that he means to extend our divorce for an indefinite amount of time, due to the fact that he does not (yet) have an attorney. Is this something that occurs in a divorce proceeding? I was under the impression that the right to an attorney is a criminal court case, not necessarily a civil or family case. Can you enlighten a worried woman? Thanks.

Asked on April 1, 2011 under Family Law, Vermont

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your husband can ask the court for a continuance to postpone the court proceeding and give him additional time to retain an attorney.  However, he will NOT be allowed to do this indefinitely.  It is within the discretion of the judge to give your husband additional time to retain an attorney.  The judge will probably set a date for him to have obtained an attorney.  If he doesn't have an attorney by that date, it is unlikely that the judge will grant additional continuances.  It is not uncommon for people to represent themselves in divorce proceedings without an attorney. 


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