How to Stop Divorce Proceedings in California in the First 30 Days

By John Stevens J.D.

Married couples often reconcile their differences once a divorce has been filed. To stop the divorce process within the first 30 days, the spouse who filed for divorce should inform the court there is no need to continue with the divorce process. To do so, the spouse who filed for divorce, called the petitioner, can file a request for dismissal with the court. Only the petitioner can file this form, as the other spouse cannot stop the process. However, if the other spouse has already filed his response, he must agree to stop the divorce and also sign off on the paperwork.

Step 1

Visit the court clerk’s office in the courthouse where you filed for divorce and ask for one copy of a “Request for Dismissal” form. The form is designated by the number CIV-110 and is free of charge. This is a state form that you must use.

Step 2

Fill out the requested information in the caption at the top of the form. This is the same information you included on page one of your divorce petition. Use your petition as a guide.

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Step 3

Check the “Family Law” box that appears below the caption.

Step 4

Check the box next to the “Without prejudice” option located at a(2) under paragraph 1.

Step 5

Check the box next to the “Petition” option located at b(2) under paragraph 1.

Step 6

Enter the date, print your name and sign where indicated in the fields located below paragraph 2.

Step 7

Check the “PARTY WITHOUT ATTORNEY” box that appears below your printed name.

Step 8

Check the “Plaintiff/Petition” box that appears below your signed name.

Step 9

Make one photocopy of your completed form.

Step 10

Deliver the two copies of your form to the court clerk. The clerk will stamp both copies and return one to you. The returned copy is for your records. There is no fee for filing this form.

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A spouse vacates a divorce pleading by filing a Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice any time before the court issues the final divorce decree. A Petition for Dissolution filed in the family circuit court where the spouses live starts the divorce process. The petition is delivered -- that is, it is served, to the other spouse, who then has a certain number of days (how many days, depends on the state) to respond by filing an Answer or Counter petition. These documents are called pleadings. Vacating, or dismissing, the pleadings in a case without prejudice stops the case from going forward without forfeiting the right to refile the case at a later date.

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What Happens If Divorce Papers Go Unsigned?

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