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What If I Want to Stop the Divorce After Filing Papers

November 5, 2016 Blog
What If I Want to Stop the Divorce After Filing Papers?
Divorce is a difficult decision. It’s not one most people come to lightly without ample thought. Several factors go into making the decision to divorce, and reaching that final decision is emotional. When divorce paperwork is filed, an entire process begins. In some cases, people change their minds about their divorce. They make the decision to work things out in their marriage, and they want to stop the divorce. What happens if you file divorce paperwork and decide you changed your mind at a later date?

If you’re the person who received divorce paperwork from your spouse, you can’t do anything to stop the divorce. The most you can do is refuse to sign the papers and drag the process out, but that doesn’t usually make your spouse want to work things out. You’re not in a position of power when this occurs, but the person who filed the paperwork can change his or her mind.

You Want to Stay Married, But You Filed Papers

Perhaps you jumped to conclusions and filed for divorce before you were ready. Perhaps filing was the decision you needed to make to ensure your spouse made necessary changes in his or her life so you could work things out. Perhaps you made the decision in a fit of rage and now you’re calm. Whatever the reason you filed for divorce, you can stop the proceedings. The earlier you stop them, the better off you are.

Go to the courthouse where you filed your paperwork. The Clerk of Court’s job is to help provide you with the answers you seek. Ask them what you can do at this point, and how you can do it. The clerk can look up your case and help you with whatever it is you need. If you are early enough in the proceedings, he or she might hand you a simple form that states you no longer wish to file for divorce and wish to cancel the paperwork you filed. You fill it out, sign it, and submit it. Your divorce is officially cancelled.

If you are too late for that, the clerk will help you figure out what to do next. There are different rules in different locations, and sometimes you have more options in one jurisdiction than another. The clerk is the person to find.

If your state requires you file your spouse with a dismissal of divorce, that will happen. This is just an additional piece of paperwork that’s legal in many areas, but not all areas. The clerk will tell you whether or not this is the case, and the or she will you file this dismissal if necessary.


As mentioned above, it’s relatively easy to stop divorce proceedings early in the process. However, if it’s too late when you reach the clerk’s office, there might still be something you can do. Some states require you have your spouse’s consent to stop divorce proceedings after a certain point. To speed up the process, you can bring your spouse with you to the clerk’s office when it’s time to stop the divorce. If that’s needed, he or she is already there and can provide that support.

Some jurisdictions might not allow you to cancel a divorce without discussing it with your spouse from the start. This is typically true when the other person participates in the divorce proceedings to that point. It’s sometimes necessary to call a hearing so that both of you can admit before the court you want to stop the divorce.

The final complication comes in the form of a counterclaim. If your spouse files one of these when he or she receives divorce papers, you might not be able to stop the divorce unless your spouse files the same paperwork dismissing the case as you. If you both want to stop the divorce, this is not a problem in any way.

In short, you can stop a divorce once papers are filed unless you are the person to whom the paperwork was served. There’s nothing you can do to make someone stay married to you when they aren’t happy in your marriage.



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