You Both Want To Call Off The Divorce — What Happens Next?
On Instagram Live last week, singer Cardi B revealed that she and her husband Offset are back together. The marital reconciliation comes just weeks after Cardi filed for divorce from Offset on the grounds their marriage was irretrievably broken. The two share a young child.
So, what happens now? Their divorce was heating up and looked like it was headed for a public courtroom showdown. It’s great news that the couple wants to give marriage a second try, but what about the legal side of things? What happens to the divorce court legal process when a divorce is called off?
For Cardi B and Offset, and any other couple deciding to reconcile after a divorce is in motion, it’s important to know that you can’t just walk away from a legal court case without taking action to dismiss it.
Once a court docket is assigned to a divorce, it will keep moving through the court system. If you ignore the case, you run the risk of a default judgement or other red tape that can create problems in the future. (Imagine if something serious happened where you needed to make an important decision on behalf of your spouse, only to find out that in the eyes of the law you are technically considered divorced and therefore not allowed to make the decision.)
How to Officially Cancel A Divorce
When a couple decides to reconcile and call off the divorce, the legal process for canceling a divorce via filing a motion to dismiss is fairly straightforward:
- You and your spouse can simply file notarized requests to the Family Part Court to dismiss the complaint, stating that you have jointly decided to try and reconcile.
- You will then receive notification that your Complaint for Divorce has been dismissed.
- This will formally cancel the divorce legal process. Your attorney can guide you through the motion to dismiss to ensure accuracy and completion.
What if you decide to divorce in the future?
If you were the spouse to originally file for divorce, you paid $300 in divorce filing fee. This money is not refundable if you dismiss your divorce. However, should the reconciliation not work out, you generally have 90 days to restart the divorce process and this same fee will cover the renewed filing in most situations. If divorce is pursued after 90 days has elapsed, you will most likely need to pay the $300 again barring an exceptional circumstance (i.e., a military spouse has been on active duty for longer than 90 days and so there had been a delay in making a decision that reconciliation was not working.)
Do you need a reconciliation agreement?
When marital difficulties were so severe that you filed for divorce, but now the two of you are trying to work through your issues, you may want to explore the legal option of having a reconciliation agreement put in place.
A reconciliation agreement is a specific type of post-nuptial agreement that spells out how assets and debts would be divided in the event of a divorce. By entering into a reconciliation agreement, the spouses can agree to remain married and dismiss any pending divorce case in exchange for a promise addressing the property distribution in the event of a divorce, so long as it is not completely inequitable. In this way, a reconciliation agreement can provide incentive and add gravitas to the decision you have made to save your marriage.
Ready to make this reconciliation work? Learn more dos and donts about how to save your marriage.
In the process of calling off your divorce and have questions about how to proceed and whether a reconciliation agreement would be a practical tool for you? We can help. For a consultation with a family law attorney, contact us today to schedule a completely confidential strategy session to answer all your questions about divorce and reconciliation. Call us at 888-888-0919, or please click the green button below.