Marriage Law - Permission to withdraw the divorce petition
How to Withdraw Divorce Papers
Divorce is a process that can be just as life-altering as marriage itself. If you and your spouse have begun divorce proceedings and wish to reconcile, rest assured, reconciliation is possible. For social and familial stability, the law encourages marriage and tries to discourage divorce. Therefore, there are ways to halt divorce proceedings right up until the moment the judge signs the divorce decree.
Withdrawing Divorce Papers Unilaterally
Find out if an answer or counterclaim has been filed.The spouse who initiates the divorce is called either the petitioner or plaintiff, the other spouse is called either the respondent or defendant. If you and your spouse reconcile before the respondent has filed any documents in response to the divorce petition, then the petitioner can halt the divorce proceedings all by themselves. If you are using the services of an attorney to assist in your divorce, simply contact your attorney to find out if an answer or counterclaim has been filed. If you filed divorce papers yourself, then you should have received the answer or counterclaim in the mail.
Identify the court clerk responsible for processing your case.If no answer or counterclaim has been filed, identify the clerk of court who is handling your case.The family court where you filed your divorce papers initially will assign a clerk to your case. If you used an attorney to file, then your attorney should know this information. Contact the clerk for the proper paperwork and procedures for withdrawing your divorce papers.
Fill out the appropriate paperwork.If the court clerk provides you with a form, complete it, or have your attorney complete it. Forms like these are typically only a page or two and very simple to fill out. For an example, see:
- Follow all instructions and make sure it is complete and, if necessary, notarized or witnessed. Many a legal filing is held up for lack of a signature or date in the proper place. Save yourself time and money down the road and double check the form to make sure everything is filled out properly and completely.
- Don't be intimidated. There are usually no fees associated with withdrawing a case this early, although you'll probably lose any filing fees you paid to initiate the divorce. And remember, you don't owe the court any explanation for withdrawing your case.
Serve your spouse.Once the petition for withdrawal is competed, in most jurisdictions, you need to serve your spouse with a copy of the petition to withdraw. The clerk of court will tell you if this is necessary, and what types of service are acceptable in your jurisdiction. Even though it isn't always required to show the court proof that your spouse was issued a service of process, it's always a good idea to keep documentation verifying that you did anyway. That way, if the court somehow loses your paperwork, you have proof that filed your withdrawal.
Halting Divorce Proceedings Bilaterally
Make sure each spouse wants to withdraw the divorce petition.First and foremost, make sure that reconciliation is the best option for you, your spouse, and your family. Just as there are costs associated with initiating a divorce, there are costs (such as court fees and attorney's fees) associated with stopping the process, particularly if your spouse has already filed an answer or counterclaim. Don't waste you or your spouse's time and money. Talk to your spouse honestly and openly and make sure the both of you are committed to keeping your marriage intact.
File a motion to dismiss.Since both spouses already said they wanted to divorce, the court must verify that both spouses want to reconcile. Therefore, when the motion is completed, the petitioner and respondent both need to sign it. In most jurisdictions, the motion is filed with the clerk of court, and the judge will either grant the motion (if both parties have signed) or schedule a hearing to evaluate its merits (if only the petitioner has signed).
- File an order for dismissal. In other jurisdictions, you will need to file an order for dismissal as well as a motion for dismissal. The process for filing the order and it's content are substantially the same as filing the motion. The order simply indicates that the motion has been granted or the date for the hearing has been set.
- If a hearing has been scheduled, the petitioner will usually need to be present. If the respondent is present but does not object to the dismissal, or the respondent doesn't attend the hearing, then the judge will usually grant the dismissal. The court will then serve your spouse with the notice that your divorce papers have been withdrawn, or will provide you a copy of the withdrawal notice in order for you to do it yourself.
Dismiss the counterclaim.If the defendant has filed a counterclaim, that constitutes a separate claim for divorce. A counterclaim would be most common if a divorce proceeding was initiated for cause, like adultery or abandonment, as opposed to a divorce initiated without regard to fault (such as irreconcilable differences or incompatibility). If there is a counterclaim, then that will continue to be a "live" claim even if the petitioner withdraws or dismisses the original claim. In order for the divorce proceedings to be halted, the counterclaim must be dismissed as well. The procedure for dismissing a counterclaim is exactly the same as the procedure for dismissing the petitioner's original claim.
Close the case.If you and your spouse halted your divorce proceedings yourselves, but hired attorneys to handle your divorce, make sure each of you contacts the lawyers to close your files. This will avoid additional time spent on your case and larger legal bills.
QuestionHow to stop a divorce in New YorkwikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRead this article. Follow the directions in this article. There are even links to New York state forms in the article. Follow those links. Fill out the forms.Thanks!
QuestionI filed for a divorce & then withdrew the application. Can I re-file or I have to go through the process all over again?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRefiling is the same thing as going through the process all over again.Thanks!
QuestionAfter final decree of divorce, can I cancel it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
QuestionHow to stop a divorce in Tennessee?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFollow the directions in this article. Look for specific forms for Tennessee in a separate Google search.Thanks!
QuestionCan I refuse to stop divorce if the husband serves me first?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCan you proceed with your divorce if your husband serves you with divorce papers? Of course you can.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is final divorce decreewikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's the paper that grants you the divorce.Thanks!
If there is a counterclaim, can I still withdrew my application for divorce?
My wife will not leave the house. I paid the mortgage for 4 years with no access to my property and I am ready to foreclose. There is no order that I must pay the mortgage and her to live there. What do I do?
I filed a simplified petition for divorce along with a Settlement Agreement, which the respondent signed. What happens if at the final hearing date, the respondent no longer agrees with Settlement Agreement?
How do I dismiss my divorce complaint in PA?
In the state of Louisiana, after final decree of divorce can I cancel it?
- Consider marital counseling. When you and your spouse decide to call off your divorce and stay married, you will probably be looking for a new start. Think about using available resources such as counseling to make your marriage stronger.
- Think about consulting a lawyer, even if you did not use one when you filed your initial divorce papers. Laws and family court regulations vary in each state. It is a good idea to talk to an attorney who specializes in divorce and family law if your divorce proceedings are already underway and you would like to stop them.
Video: How do you withdraw a petition for divorce
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