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What if I want to stop the divorce after I already filed the papers?

October 3, 2017

Marriage is a difficult thing. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of effort, and a lot of give and take on both sides. Sometimes it’s hard, and other times your marriage is easy. It’s never always easy, but it just depends on how much you’re willing to give and take when you’re involved in a marriage. It’s also easy to get worked up in a moment of weakness. You might overreact when you have a big fight. You might decide you can’t do this anymore in an emotional time in your life, and you might let your emotions get the best of you.

Sometimes you are so upset about something that you make poor decisions. Perhaps your life is in turmoil right now due to job loss, the loss of a loved one, big changes, and other stressful things going on, and you make the decision to divorce your spouse when your emotions are riding high. You’ve already gone to the local Clerk of Court’s office and filed the paperwork, and then you have a little time to calm down and think about what you just did. That’s when you realize you don’t want a divorce. Is it too late to put a stop to it?

Can I stop my divorce once the paperwork is already filed?

You can stop the paperwork, but the process is not always simple. If you just filed it and want to put a stop to it before your spouse is served with divorce papers, you must get to the courthouse immediately and put in a request to stop the filing. You can do this, but only if the paperwork has not yet been officially filed with the court.

If your spouse has already been served with paperwork for a divorce, it becomes a little more complicated. Your spouse, for example, might not be very happy to see that you want to end your marriage, and he or she might not want to put a stop to it knowing you were so upset in your marriage it really came to this.

You have an option to end the divorce filing at any point so long as you both agree once he or she has been served. You can stop a divorce up until the final divorce decree has been issued. If that’s already been signed and filed, it’s too late. Before then, however, you do have the option. You need to approach the court or have your attorney do this. You’ll ask to stop the divorce. The judge will ask why, and you must provide a reasonable reason such as you want to work on your marriage.

The catch is you must both agree to this. You cannot ask the court to stop a divorce if the other party wants to continue the divorce. If you can both show up, tell the court you want to remain married and work on things, and you can do this together, the court will grant your request. They want to see you stay married and keep your family together. It’s far more enjoyable to do this than sign yet another divorce decree in the court, so your request is very likely to be granted.

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