Last Updated on
In situations where a couple who sought divorce decide they want to stay married, many things must be taken into consideration. First and foremost is it must be clear both parties are agreeing they want to stop the divorce proceedings. If only one spouse wants the divorce stopped, it can be almost impossible to do so, especially if the papers have been filed as a no-fault divorce. In addition, the timing of the request can determine if the proceedings can be stopped. With most courts, if a judgement has not been issued, both spouses can stop the divorce through mutual agreement.
Notice of Revocation
When a couple is attempting to stop a divorce where papers have already been filed, a notice of revocation must be filed with the court as soon as possible. This is an official request to withdraw the divorce petition, and usually has filing fees and court costs associated with it as well. However, when this notice of revocation is filed by the couple, the court will not automatically stop the divorce then and there. Instead, after reviewing the notice, the court will often order the couple to undergo mediation or counseling in order to ensure the decision is mutual and that both parties are of sound mind.
Once the divorce withdrawal is finalized, the divorce proceedings are terminated by the court and the couple maintains their status of being legally married. If during the divorce proceedings any property was acquired, it will remain community property. However, if the couple was separated for a time during the divorce proceedings, some courts may classify any property acquired as separate rather than marital. If a reconciliation happens, the property may have to be reclassified by the court.
Issues Related to Stopping a Divorce
Even though a couple who wants to stop a divorce hopes for as few obstacles as possible, the fact is the court will often take a very close look at these requests. For example, in some situations one spouse may once again change their mind and decide they want the divorce to continue, which can hinder the process even more. If children are involved or if there have been issues regarding domestic violence or abuse allegations of any kind, the court may have the couple undergo psychological or medical examinations to verify all is well. And in extreme cases, one spouse may pretend to stop the divorce in order to delay the proceedings, hoping to obtain better terms in the divorce agreement. Needless to say, this is not a good strategy to take. If the court determines one spouse is guilty of this, it can be considered divorce fraud and lead to serious legal consequences such as contempt of court or other criminal charges.
Do I Need a Lawyer’s Advice?
If a couple has filed divorce papers and then decides to reverse course, the advice of an attorney can be extremely helpful. Not only can the attorney help act as a buffer between the court and the couple, but they can also answer questions regarding property, bank accounts, or children. Along with this, having the representation of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney can add tremendous credibility to the couple’s claim of wanting to withdraw their divorce petition.
While deciding whether to stay married or proceed with a divorce can be incredibly stressful, it is nevertheless a decision that must be carefully examined on many fronts in order to reach the proper conclusion. By talking to each other as well as experienced professionals, there’s little doubt the best decision will be made for all involved.