Requests to withdraw petitions for divorce are fairly common in family courts across the country. Sometimes, a spouse files for divorce only to find that he or she would rather reconcile with their husband or wife than separate permanently. When this happens, the person who filed for divorce can stop the proceedings as long as their spouse hasn’t filed a counterclaim and a final decree hasn’t been issued. If both spouses have filed claims, they both have to petition the court to stop the divorce.
The court generally requires the petitioner to file a motion to withdraw the paperwork. Some jurisdictions have forms for this process while others only require a letter from the spouse who filed for the divorce. Family courts typically do not charge a fee to dismiss a divorce proceeding. The initial filing fee, though, will not be refunded if the divorce is withdrawn.
While a spouse who files for divorce can withdraw their petition, the other spouse does not have the power to do so. A person who is served with divorce papers can only respond or file a counterclaim. If the spouse who was served files a response and the petitioner later requests to stop the proceedings, the judge may set a court date to hear the motion.
An ongoing divorce proceeding can’t be stopped if only one spouse wants to remain married. Because all 50 states allow no-fault divorces, a person who no longer wishes to be married can get a divorce without having to prove wrongdoing by their spouse. Some states require a couple to be legally separated for a specified period of time before a no-fault divorce will be granted. As long as the filing spouse has met all of the requirements for a divorce, a final decree can be issued without the consent of the other spouse.