Can You Hurry a Judge?

A judge has a specific time period in which to issue a decision. This usually is ninety days from the date of the last submission, although it may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some judges get decisions out quickly, while some take months to issue decisions. Some don't do their work on time. The wait can be nerve-wracking, but unfortunately there is nothing you can do to make the judge move faster.

Some actions may slow the judge's decision. The temporary orders in effect when you went to trial remain until they're changed by another order. However, sometimes it's necessary to get an order changed while you're waiting for a judge's decision if, for example, you lose your job or your spouse gets one. The new circumstances require a motion, complete with paperwork such as affidavits and exhibits.

You now have time to reflect on your trial. You and your lawyer may sit down and review what went well and what went poorly. You can make a settlement proposal to the other side, even at this late stage of the process. The certainty of a final resolution outside of court may appeal to your spouse as well.

If you bring a motion after trial but before a final decision, you can expect a further delay in the final decree. The judge first will have to rule on the motion. If the motion's substance changes facts presented at trial, the judge will probably treat it as a new submission, which may extend the time it takes for her to issue a new decision.

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