There are two ways to stop a divorce proceeding…if you change your mind completely, or you are not sure you want to go forward to a final divorce and want to give it some time to determine that.
For clients who are not sure and want some time after filing divorce papers to try to work on the marriage, we file a Motion to ABATE the proceedings. This means essentially to put the proceedings on hold; in most counties in Central Florida (Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia and Lake), this is usually for 90-180 days to give the parties a chance to reconcile. If after that time, one or the other party wants to proceed to divorce court, then they file a Motion to Continue the proceedings. Please keep in mind that both parties must agree to abate the proceedings. If you want to hold off on the divorce, but your spouse insists on going forward, a judge is not very likely to abate the case.
If the parties are in fact reconciling and neither wants the divorce to go forward, then the petitioner who filed for divorce in the first place can file a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. (If the other spouse filed a Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, they would need to file a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss Counter-Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. This closes the case as far as the courts are concerned. Later if you decide reconciliation is not working, and you wish to proceed, you have to start all over again and even pay a new filing fee of over $400.00. The case is no longer on hold but rather, is dismissed and you must start over as if the first case didn’t exist.
So before you give your lawyer the go ahead to file for divorce, make sure you want to go through with it. Otherwise it gets confusing to the parties and also very costly.
For more information about this or other divorce topics, call the Law Office of Andrew G. Storie at 407-838-0887 or click on the our web site at www.storielaw.com.