Had A Change Of Heart? Frequently Asked Questions About Stopping Divorce Proceedings

After separating and living apart, you and your spouse may find that you miss each other, that you still love each or that you think you can overcome the issues that seemed impassable months earlier. However, if you have already filed for divorce, you may be wondering whether the divorce can be stopped and how to go about doing so. Here are a couple frequently asked questions you may have if you and your spouse have had a change of heart and wish to stop divorce proceedings.

Can Divorce Be Stopped Once the Paperwork Has Been Filed?

If you and your spouse have had a change of heart after asking the courts for a divorce, you may be wondering if you can stop the proceedings and stop the divorce.  As long as a final divorce order has not been issued and you both are in agreement that this is what you want, you will be able to ask the courts to dismiss the divorce proceedings. Once the paperwork is filed, a hearing is typically held to ensure that both parties are in agreement. If both parties are in agreement, the dismissal will be granted and the divorce will not be granted.

The majority of states have a statutory deadline for when a change can be made to the status of a pending divorce and when the final order will be issued. This deadline varies from state to state. New Hampshire has a short statutory deadline, with uncontested divorces being granted in 30 days. In California, you have six months from the date the divorce is filed until the statutory deadline expires and the divorce is granted. In New York and South Carolina, you have a year to change your mind.

If you and your spouse have reconciled and you wish to dismiss the divorce, speak with a divorce paralegal or lawyer in your state to find out when the statutory deadline expires for your divorce case. If this deadline passes, your divorce will be final.

Can a Final Divorce Judgment Be Delayed To Give a Couple Time to Figure Things Out?

If you and your spouse have decided to work on reconciling, you may be wondering what to do about the divorce. You may not want to have the divorce proceedings dismissed, in case things don't work out. But, at the same time, you may not want a divorce to be granted, in case things do work out. In such situations, you and your spouse will want to notify the court and ask for a stay or continuance in issuing the final divorce decree. A stay or continuance is different than a dismissal in that it only temporarily stops the divorce proceedings, whereas a dismissal permanently stops the divorce process.

Once again, the state you live in plays a huge role in how long you can delay making a decision about your divorce. In some states, divorce proceedings can only be stayed for 30 days, while other states allow you to stay them for up to a year. At the end of that time period, you and your spouse will have to make a decision as to whether you want to proceed with the divorce or whether you want to have the divorce petition dismissed.

Deciding to file for divorce is not a decision that should be taken lightly. However, no matter how much thought you put into a divorce, there is always a chance that the situation will change and you will decide to reconcile, even after filing paperwork to begin divorce proceedings. Luckily, you can delay or stop a divorce as long as it is not final, and work to fix your marriage, if that is what you and your spouse wish to do.