Can I Stop a Divorce During the Proceedings?
It may not be common, but reconciliation is possible. If you and your spouse have decided to give marriage another go and no longer wish to pursue a divorce, you are able to withdraw your divorce petition. You must advise the court that you do not want to move forward with the case. Once your case has been dismissed, the proceedings will end, but neither party will be refunded for the filing fees or attorney costs. However, if you later decide to file for legal separation or divorce again, the process will start from the beginning and both parties will be required to pay the filing frees again.
Talk to a Pennsylvania divorce attorney about what steps must be taken to stop the legal proceedings.
Can I Undo a Finalized Divorce?
So, you and your ex-spouse have discovered that absence does in fact make the heart grow fonder and have thus, decided that you want to get back together. Can you “take back” the divorce?
Under Pennsylvania law, once the divorce decree has been finalized, you can file a petition to appeal the decree under limited conditions. However, changing your mind is not among those conditions. The appeal may only be filed if you are unsatisfied with the judge’s ruling or if you think the judge made a legal error. In order to open or vacate a divorce, you must file a petition within thirty days to five years, depending on the circumstances, and it must allege, “Intrinsic fraud, lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or a fatal defect apparent upon the face of the record must be made within five years after entry of the final decree.” Intrinsic fraud refers to perjury, false testimony, and other fraudulent actions that occurred during the judgment.
If you finalized a marital settlement agreement to end the marriage and you no longer wish to abide by the terms, talk to a Pennsylvania divorce attorney to discuss your options.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
The divorce process is no walk in the park. Both parties spend a lot of time, heartache, and money. So, make sure both you and your ex-spouse genuinely want to reconcile. You won’t get any of the money you spent back and if you decide to break up in the future you will have to pay the filing fees again, plus more attorney fees.
Appeals can also be expensive. The initial filing fee is a few hundred dollars and both spouses are required to pay it. Add this to the additional attorney fees you will have to pay for also.
If you have children, property, or investments at stake, you should seek a Pennsylvania divorce lawyer’s advice before you rescind your petition.