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Can you withdraw a divorce or dissolution petition?

Sometimes while going through a divorce or dissolution, the two spouses realize they would like to give their marriage another try or that they would prefer to stay legally married for reasons such as finances. Maybe the picture with assets is more complicated than previously thought, for example. Alternatively, it could be that the spouses have to move to another state and plan to refile for divorce there.

Is it possible to withdraw your request for a divorce or dissolution even if proceedings have almost ended?

If the two of you agree

If both you and your spouse agree that you two would rather not proceed any further, then it should be fairly easy to retract filings. Depending on whether there is just one filing or a filing and a response, both of you may have to file a motion together. Your lawyers can help with that.

If you do not agree

The situation can get a lot trickier if you do not both agree to stop the proceedings, even if you were the one who filed for divorce or dissolution and who wants to withdraw the petition. That said, if your spouse has yet to respond to your petition, dismissing it may be relatively smooth. Otherwise, the two of you do need to file a motion together. If you cannot do that, the matter is likely to proceed.

If uncertainty is an issue, it is possible to have your lawyer ask the court for a temporary suspension of the proceedings. From there, you and your spouse can decide whether you want to continue with the divorce or to stay married, at least for now.

When the judge signs

Once a judge signs your final decree, you are divorced. Unlike with, say, mortgage refinancing, there is no grace period in which you can change your mind. The good news is that as long as you and your spouse are on the same page, you can suspend or stop proceedings at any time until the judge signs.

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Wolinetz & Horvath

Wolinetz & Horvath
250 Civic Center Drive
Suite 220
Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: 614-362-8847
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