Can I Stop my Divorce after I File the Papers?

Divorce and Depression

There is no easy answer to this question.  It may be possible to stop your divorce after you file the papers, but there are several things that need to happen for you to be able to cancel your divorce proceeding.  If you are not the spouse who filed the paperwork, there is nothing you can do to stop the divorce.

You can contest the grounds your spouse has cited and you can argue about custody and property division, but there are no states that will force someone to stay married to you if he/she doesn’t want to.  If you are the spouse who filed, it may be possible to stop the divorce proceeding.

If you are the one who filed the divorce papers, go to your local courthouse and speak to the clerk.  Explain that you want to stop your divorce and ask for the forms you need.  These can be printed from the internet but with each state having different rules, it is better to go directly to the court and ask for these forms.

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This is usually a simple form.  Basically, it just states that you have changed your mind and no longer want to file for divorce.  Usually, you won’t need to declare a reason for the change of heart.  After you complete the form, make several copies of it and take it back to the clerk of courts office.  These will each be stamped as “filed” and several copies will be returned to you.

Some states require that you “serve” your spouse with the dismissal forms.   When you are with the clerk, ask what your next step should be.  Some courts will serve your spouse for you, while others require you do it.  Some areas do not require this step at all.

Stopping your divorce is much easier if you are early in the process.  Some states require your spouse’s consent to stop the proceedings.  If you file your dismissal forms before he/she has filed an answer to your divorce petition, it is usually a quick and simple process to cancel your divorce.  The farther you are along in the process, the more difficult it may be to stop your divorce.  Remember that it is possible your spouse will file a counterclaim and continue the divorce even if your petition is halted.

Stopping a divorce is always easier when you realize you don’t want the divorce soon after filing.  The best way to avoid the additional paperwork is to be completely sure a divorce is what you want before you file.  Never file for divorce until you have given the matter a lot of thought and certainly never because you are angry until you have had a chance to calm down and consider what you truly want.

If you want to try and save your marriage, check out our ebook “How to Stop your Divorce.” This ebook details the things you can do to save your marriage and prevent the pain of a divorce. Remember that everyone has bad times in their marriage – the key is to not give up!  Grab your copy here.

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