Occasionally, a couple involved in divorce proceedings make the decision not to conclude a marriage dissolution case. There are a number of steps that need to be taken when it comes to winding down rather than proceeding with a divorce case. Included within that process is the steps that need to be taken to terminate any existing child support order.
Temporary Orders at the Commencement of Divorce Proceedings
When it comes to a divorce case in any U.S. jurisdiction, the couple seeking to end their marriage seek and obtain what are known as temporary orders at the start of proceedings. Temporary orders are designed to define rights and responsibilities while a divorce case is pending. They are replace with a final divorce decree when the marriage dissolution proceedings conclude.
Examples of these types of preliminary orders include temporary custody, temporary visitation or parenting time, and temporary child support orders. These orders can be the result of an agreement between the parties that is submitted to the court for approval. On the other hand, if the spouses cannot agree on the terms and conditions of temporary orders, the court entertains motions from the parties on these issues. The court is likely to schedule a hearing, take evidence, and then issue temporary orders as needed.
Reasons for Ending Divorce Proceedings
Although there can be a multitude of reasons why divorce proceedings are not carried forth to completion, two common situations underpin the dismissal of a marriage dissolution case. First, the parties reconcile with one another. Second, a legal or some other reason arises that renders it impractical for a couple to conclude a divorce case at the present time.
Reconciliation is self explanatory. An example of a couple determining to dismiss a divorce case for another reason can be an issue with heath insurance. Assume for the sake of discussion that a child born of the marriage, or even one of the spouses, has a health condition. The existing coverage is highly beneficial to the spouse with the medical condition. Even though that individual will be able to obtain some type of coverage after a divorce, it will not be the same quality as what exists at this time. Therefore, at least for the time being, the parties desire to maintain the status quo.
Reconciliation and Stopping Child Support
If reconciliation is the underpinning reason for ending a divorce case, the parties can file with the court a joint motion to dismiss the case. The joint motion would include a provision asking the court to dismiss any existing child support order. In addition, if there is a child support arrearage, the motion is likely to contain a provision asking the court to waive the arrearage.
Upon receipt of the motion, the court enters an order dismissing the case. Everything is dismissed, including any temporary order for child support.
Replacing a Divorce Case with One for Legal Separation
In those states that permit legal separation, the parties may decided to dismiss a divorce case and substitute it with one for legal separation. if that is the case, depending on the law in a particular state, the parties can seek to have the child support order maintained and made a part of the legal separation proceedings. The parties can specifically include in their motion the desire to maintain an existing child support order in a substituted legal separation case, preventing the dismissal of an existing child support order.
Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney
An experienced divorce lawyer can best assist you in dealing with the dismissal of a divorce case and the continuance of a child support order. As a matter of practice, a divorce attorney does not charge lawyer fees for an initial consultation.