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Can you have your divorce petition dismissed?

Maybe you filed for divorce as an emotional response to something that you've now worked through with your spouse, and you'd like to stay married. Maybe there have been other significant life changes that make it appear your marriage isn't going to end after all. Once the paperwork is in, can you stop it, or are you stuck having to move forward with a divorce you no longer want?

You can definitely ask to have your divorce petition dismissed by the court. You'll need to file a motion to dismiss with the court where you initially filed for your divorce. This motion will then have to be granted by the court before the paperwork is taken off the books.

You and your spouse both need to sign the paperwork to make it official. This is to prevent one spouse from asking for a divorce to be canceled when the other spouse still wants it to go through. You must be in agreement about how you'd like to proceed.

You'll have to have the papers served to your spouse for them to be signed. It's important to note that you will not serve the papers to him or her on your own. Someone else, who is at least 18 years old, will do it on your behalf. Your spouse has to be properly notified and given time to respond -- just like he or she was when you filed for divorce in the first place.

Following the proper procedures is key when trying to stop a divorce. Make sure you know exactly what order of operations to use and any deadlines that must be met.

Source: Livestrong, "How to Withdraw a Divorce Petition," Roger Thorne, accessed Oct. 20, 2016

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