Divorce is a stressful and emotional process. Unlike other legal matters, it is not uncommon for couples to reconcile during the divorce process and decide to give their relationship another shot. When a couple decides to call off their divorce, their choice will have certain ramifications depending on how far along their case is.
Before The Paperwork Is Filed
Many people begin the divorce process and soon find that they have changed their minds. When a divorce petition has not yet been filed with the court, there is no obligation to continue with the divorce, even if you have already hired an attorney. While you will still have to pay your attorney for the work that he or she has performed on the case, you will not lose the cost of the filing fee or be required to go to court.
After Paperwork Is Filed
Once a petition for divorce has been filed in a court, you will have some obligation to resolve the case. This does not mean that you are required to get divorced—instead, your attorney can file a motion either dismissing the case entirely or asking the court to suspend the proceedings.
Whenever a divorce petition is filed, the person who filed the petition is responsible for paying a filing fee. This fee is not refundable, even if you change your mind about the divorce. For that reason, many people prefer to delay or suspend the proceedings for several months while they attempt to reconcile with their spouse. That way, if the reconciliation does not go as planned, the divorce case can resume with little difficulty.
If you are sure about the reconciliation, the person who filed the petition can choose to dismiss the case entirely. The court does not need an explanation to dismiss the case, and these motions are routinely granted. If, however, the couple chooses to divorce again in the future, the process will start over and a new petition (with filing fee) will need to be filed with the court.
At The End Of A Divorce Case
Reconciling when a divorce case is nearly completed can be a little trickier. If you and your spouse have already signed a divorce settlement, that document can still be treated as a binding contract even if you eventually reconcile.
If a divorce settlement has already been sent to a judge for consideration, attorneys for the couple will need to file an immediate motion asking the court not to rule on the settlement. Once the judge approves a settlement and enters a divorce decree, there is very little that anyone can do to stop a divorce.
In some instances, if it has been less than 30 days since the judge signed a divorce decree, attorneys for the parties may be able to reverse the judge’s decision. However, if it has been more than 30 days, or if the judge refuses to rescind the decree, the couple will officially be divorced and will have to remarry if they want to remain wedded.
Thinking of Reconciling?
If you are thinking about getting back together with your spouse, it is important to keep your attorney in the loop. The family law system expects spouses to make attempts at reconciling, and it is easy to put the case on hold if both parties agree.
If you are no longer sure that you want a divorce, talk to the attorneys at Pacific Northwest Family Law. Our lawyers help clients work their problems out together through the use of traditional divorces, collaborative divorces, legal separations, mediations, and arbitrations.
Regardless of what decision you make about your relationship, the attorneys at Pacific Northwest Family Law can help you resolve your family law issues. To learn more about your options, contact us today by calling 509-572-3700.