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Stopping a Divorce after Filing

Can You Put a Divorce on Hold After Filing?

Unless you were not the spouse who filed for divorce, you typically cannot stop the process unless you persuade the filing spouse to order a retraction. Once your husband has submitted the petition, your sole option is to oppose its terms. If your spouse has set conditions with which you disagree, such as how to split property or who will have custody of children, you may need to dispute the divorce. To oppose a divorce, you must react to the divorce papers served on you by your husband within 21 days after receipt.


A petition for divorce may be filed by one or both spouses seeking a court decree of divorce. Divorce reasons include “fault” grounds (in which one party asserts that the marriage should be dissolved because the other party did something wrong, such as abandonment or adultery) and “no-fault” grounds. A court may accept a divorce request in a so-called “no-fault” divorce case without either side having to establish that the other party committed wrongdoing.

Regardless of the form of divorce action requested, one or both parties may change their minds during the hearing and seek to end the divorce proceedings and remain married.

What Do You Need to Do to Put an End to a Divorce Case?


A party seeking to halt a divorce petition must normally submit a notice of revocation (also known as a notice of withdrawal) with the court and serve it on the other party. The processes to be followed are determined by the stage of the proceedings.

If the procedures have progressed to the point where the other spouse has failed to reply to a petition, a court will usually allow you to submit a “voluntary dismissal.”

If the proceedings have reached the point where the spouse has submitted a response to the petition, the petitioner may still request that the proceedings be discontinued. The judge will not automatically dismiss your case.

Because a response has been provided, the court will not automatically approve the request.

At this point, the parties must normally agree to and sign a “stipulation of voluntary dismissal.” If the parties agree to dismissal, the court will most likely grant the motion. If the replying spouse does not agree to the dismissal, the court may order a formal argument (referred to as “oral argument”) in which both parties may explain why the motion should or should not be granted. After carefully weighing the reasons, the court will reach a conclusion. If the court finds no justifiable cause to refuse the request, it will grant it.

If a party files a notice of resignation later in the litigation, the court may be less likely to approve it. A party may file the notification at any time before the court enters final judgment. However, the closer the submission is to the moment of final judgment, the greater attention the court will give the filing if the spouse opposes.

A court may apply further scrutiny if it believes the party filing is only doing so to gain a stronger position. If the court judges that the filing party did not wish to terminate the processes legitimately, but rather filed the filing in order to prolong the entire divorce,

If the court judges that the filing party did not want to discontinue the proceedings legitimately, but rather just filed to prolong the complete divorce, the court may refuse the motion.

A court could also refuse the notification in order to avoid basic principles of fairness or equity. The longer a procedure lasts, the more time and money the other spouse has spent on it. A court may evaluate whether it is unjust to allow the proceedings to be terminated in such circumstances.

Furthermore, a court may dismiss a request to “cancel” divorce proceedings at any moment if a party believes plausibly that the party seeking the motion to halt is coercing them to do so.

A judge may also dismiss a cancellation request if, after evaluating the request, the judge believes that the replying party has plausibly accused the party of requesting cancellation of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect.

By refusing the cancellation request, the judge maintains jurisdiction over the case. As a result, the judge retains the authority to impose protective orders or other necessary relief to safeguard the spouse or kid.

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