What Is a Divorce With Prejudice?

By Timothy Mucciante

A divorce with prejudice, in a marriage that has been dissolved and custody and financial issues decided, means both parties are barred from filing a future divorce action against the other. The term "prejudice" in this context refers only to whether or not a party may refile a divorce action. It does not refer to any unlawful prejudice by the judge based on gender, race, religion or age toward a party.

Divorce Decree Pursuant to Agreement

In the event both parties agree on custody, support and property division issues, the judge can enter a final divorce decree pursuant to that agreement. This decree entered by the judge will be “with prejudice." Settlement agreements in many divorce cases are facilitated by a mediator or a settlement conference held by the judge, where matters regarding child custody, support and property division are agreed upon.

Final Divorce Decree After Jury Verdict

If the parties do not agree on custody, child and spousal support and property division, the judge may hold a hearing or trial on those issues. The judge may serve as the “finder of fact," which means the judge is acting as the jury, or a jury may hear the case. The verdict reached will be entered by the court “with prejudice,” again meaning that the case is closed and cannot be re-litigated.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

With Prejudice Dismissal In a No-Fault Divorce

All states have no-fault divorce laws today, which means that assignment of fault does not play a role in whether or not a divorce is granted. The only element that must be proven in a no-fault divorce is that circumstances exist which dissolve the purpose of the marriage. Because fault does not have to be proven, a with-prejudice dismissal has more effect regarding custody, spousal and child support, and other financial issues than the divorce itself.

Distinguishing a Without Prejudice Dismissal

A without-prejudice divorce dismissal may also be granted. Unlike a with-prejudice dismissal, the parties are not barred from starting the divorce case all over again. The filing party getting cold feet or not serving the summons on their spouse on time are instances where a dismissal without prejudice may be granted. The dismissal order signed by the judge specifies whether a dismissal is with or without prejudice.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
90 Day Cooling Off Period for a Divorce in Pennsylvania

References

Resources

Related articles

California Divorce Laws Regarding Mental Illness

California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning there is no requirement to prove a spouse acted improperly with respect to the marital relationship. If one spouse suffers from a severe mental illness, referred to in California law as “incurably insane,” that illness could serve as the basis for a divorce. Whether a mental condition reaches the level of incurably insane depends on the specific facts of each case and is left to the discretion of the judge.

Required Period of Separation in Wyoming for Divorce

Wyoming makes divorce relatively easy, at least when it comes to the grounds on which you can file. It's a no-fault state, so you don't have the option of alleging that your spouse did something wrong and that this is why your marriage ended. You can only cite irreconcilable differences or that your spouse is incurably insane, and you don't have to live apart before you file.

What Is a Unilateral Divorce?

Unilateral divorce describes a divorce in which one spouse terminates the marriage without the consent of the other spouse. Spouses can do this by filing for divorce on no-fault grounds, which allows couples to divorce regardless of whether the other spouse consents and without casting blame on the other spouse for the marriage coming to an end. Regardless of the state you live in, you may file for no-fault divorce.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

What Does it Mean to File for Irreconcilable Differences in a Divorce?

When filing for divorce, states generally require the divorcing couple name the grounds under which they are bringing ...

What Is Action for Divorce?

A divorce is legal in nature and proceeds much like any other lawsuit. For that reason, the process for obtaining a ...

Questions a Divorce Lawyer Will Ask

The events leading up to a divorce may be traumatic as both you and your husband reconcile yourselves to your ...

Is North Carolina a No-Fault Divorce State?

North Carolina, like every other state, has an option of filing for no-fault divorce. However, certain requirements ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED