How to Put My Divorce on Hold

By Beverly Bird

Courts don’t want you to divorce, and most state laws are set up to allow you time to make sure a divorce is what you want, even after you file. Although procedures vary from state to state, if you file for divorce, then have second thoughts, you usually have several options to slow things down or bring the divorce to a stop entirely.

Step 1

Take advantage of the divorce waiting period in your state. Usually, a period of time must elapse between the date your spouse receives your complaint for divorce and the date the court will finalize your divorce, even if you’re in agreement on all issues. You might be able to buy up to six months worth of time by simply doing nothing and letting the clock wind down.

Step 2

Petition the court for a delay, if your state has a minimal waiting period. Some jurisdictions, such as New Jersey, will grant this request if both spouses are in agreement. The judge will schedule a management conference in a few months’ time to determine if you want to dismiss your complaint or proceed. In Illinois, a judge might order a “conciliation conference” or mediation to help the two of you decide if you want to move forward with your divorce.

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

Step 3

Stall your proceedings, if your state has a limited waiting period and no set procedure for putting your divorce on hold. If you don’t serve your spouse with your divorce complaint, your divorce can’t proceed. If your spouse doesn’t file an answer to your complaint, and you fail to file for default judgment, your divorce can’t proceed. Eventually, the courts in most states will send you a notice, telling you to “prosecute” your case, or it will dismiss your complaint. Collectively, this process can give you an additional one to two months after your waiting period expires.

Step 4

Withdraw your complaint. Most states allow you to do this by filing a one-page document with the court, stating that you are voluntarily dismissing your case. You can only do this, however, if you are the one who filed the complaint. If your spouse filed first, he is the only one who can withdraw it.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Can a Divorce Be Stopped in Florida If the Papers Have Been Filed?

References

Related articles

Do You Have to Go to Court When Divorce Is Final in Tennessee?

If your divorce is contested, you can count on appearing in court, maybe even more than once, for both temporary hearings and a trial. Uncontested divorces are a different matter. If you and your spouse have a signed marital settlement agreement, or if your spouse doesn't involve himself in the divorce at all, your matter is uncontested. If anyone has to go to court, it would be you if you began the proceedings by filing the complaint. However, in some Tennessee counties, your appearance may not be necessary to finalize your case.

Mississippi Divorce Rules When One Party Refuses the Divorce

Although the divorce laws in most states bear a similarity to each other, Mississippi departs somewhat from the norm. A resistant spouse who wants to fight a divorce has more ability to do so in this state than in others. Qualifications for no-fault grounds are more stringent than in other jurisdictions as well.

Can the Respondent Finalize a Divorce if the Petitioner Won't Sign?

Sometimes a spouse files for divorce only to find out that the process is not going exactly the way she anticipated. She might realize that a court isn’t likely to grant her everything she asked for in her petition, or that you won’t agree to everything she wants in a marital settlement agreement. However, once the proceedings are under way, there’s only so much she can do to stall them. This is true even if she was the one who filed for divorce first.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

What Happens When You Are Served Divorce Papers?

Most people are not able to think clearly in the hours or even days after they receive divorce papers. Although the ...

Do You Have to Go to Court Before a Dissolution of Marriage Is Finalized?

The thought of having to appear in court for any reason is enough to give most people cold feet. In the case of divorce ...

How to Separate in a Marriage

Divorce isn't for everyone--at least not immediately. For any number of reasons, spouses might want to live separately ...

Retracting a Divorce

Enough couples change their minds about going through with their divorces that most states have built-in legislation to ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED