Can you stop a divorce? The simple answer is yes, if you act quickly enough once the divorce petition is filed. Contrary to popular belief, the court system doesn’t want to see a marriage fail. They want to see couples make the decision to work out their issues and move on with their lives. Divorce is not something people expect when they get married. No one would exchange vows with someone they knew they wouldn’t stay married to if they knew ahead of time, but it does happen. Divorce is not ideal, but sometimes it’s for the best.
If you file for divorce and later decide you want to work on your marriage, there are a few ways you can stop the divorce process. If your spouse files for divorce and you just don’t want to get divorced, there’s nothing you can do to stop the process unless you convince your spouse to give you another chance. Working out your marital issues is the ideal situation, and that’s why you have legal recourse if this is the decision you make. Divorce isn’t finalized until it’s finalized, so there’s still time.
Contact the Clerk of Court
Go back to where you filed your divorce paperwork and speak with the clerk. The law is different in every state, but most clerks allow the filing party to cancel the paperwork if it’s not too late after it’s been filed. This is good news for the clerk, and it’s great news for your marriage.
If it’s been a while since you’ve filed for divorce, it might be a little more complicated to put a stop to the process at this point. The Clerk of Court will tell you what you need to do to stop the process at this point. It might require filing a petition to stop the divorce. It might require you and your spouse both filing a petition to stop the divorce. If you’re far enough along in the divorce proceedings, your spouse’s permission is required.
If you are not the person who filed paperwork for a divorce, you can’t file paperwork to stop it. Your spouse didn’t want to stay married, and only he or she can make the change with the court. You can come in together to present a united front and a joint statement if this works for you.
File the Appropriate Paperwork
Sometimes there’s additional paperwork required to finalize your divorce. This paperwork must be presented to the court, and it must be presented to your spouse. A letter explaining your reason for wanting to stop the divorce is sometimes required, and it must be filed with the Clerk of Court. This is called a dismissal, and all parties are legally required to obtain a copy of the dismissal to make it legal. Most states allow you to provide this information to your spouse yourself without the help of a process server or police officer, but proof he or she was served is required to dismiss the case completely.
If your divorce is so far that you’ve already begun to divide your assets and attend court hearings, it’s a more complicated process. Generally, however, the judge in your case would rather grant you permission to remain married and work on your relationship than to add to divorce statistics. If you’re unsure how much time you have to change your mind, simply ask.
The use of a divorce attorney is recommended in most cases. When you use an attorney to guide you through the divorce process, he or she is responsible for providing you with the appropriate paperwork. Your attorney becomes responsible for making sure you have what you need to stop your divorce, and you need only worry about signing the correct paperwork. Congratulations on making the decision to work through your marriage instead of giving up on it completely. It takes bravery and a strength to make that decision when divorce is such an easy way out, and it’s commendable. This is also why halting a divorce is so simple in most locations.