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Can I Stop a Divorce in Orlando if the Paperwork Has Already Been Filed?
Maybe. While you can’t undo a divorce that’s already been finalized, you may be able to pause or stop divorce proceedings up until that point.
If you’ve been served with divorce papers, you have limited time to file a response. If you want to stop the divorce, an experienced family law attorney can help. In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about stopping a divorce in Orlando, Florida, when the paperwork has already been filed.
The Divorce Process in Florida
In order to file for divorce in Florida, one spouse must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. Once the petition is filed, the other spouse has 20 days to respond. If they do not respond, the divorce will proceed by default.
If both spouses want to stop the divorce, they can file a Motion to Dismiss or a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal with the court. This motion must be signed by both parties and state that they have reconciled and wish to dismiss the divorce proceedings. Once the motion is filed, the court will cancel the divorce hearing and dismiss the case. Be aware, however, that you won’t get any money back for the court fees you’ve paid thus far.
However, if one spouse does not want to reconcile or their whereabouts are unknown, it may not be possible to stop the divorce. The courts will not force someone to stay married if they don’t want to be. In this situation, it’s best to consult with an attorney to discuss your legal options and find out what steps you need to take in order to protect your rights during the divorce process.
How To Stop a Divorce Already in Process
If you know where your spouse is and if you’re able to communicate with them, you may be able to reconcile your marriage. If you were the one who filed for divorce, you may be able to pause the proceedings while you attempt reconciliation. Many people initiate the divorce process, then realize that they may want to give their marriage one more shot. If both spouses want to give it a try, the court won’t stand in your way.
You can also simply stop interacting with the court. While this may have unintended consequences and is not the recommended course of action, if you and your spouse want to reconcile, you can simply stop responding to court requests for hearings and updates. Eventually, the court will dismiss and close your case.
You may also file a motion to abate. A motion to abate is a legal request to stop or postpone a legal proceeding. In the context of divorce, a motion to abate may be filed if either party believes that the proceeding has not been properly served, if there is a pending issue that needs to be resolved before the divorce can proceed, or if one party cannot be located. A motion to abate may pause the proceedings for up to 90 days, so this only provides a temporary pause.
Speak With an Orlando Family Law Attorney Today
When you decide you want a divorce or if you’ve been served with divorce papers, that doesn’t mean you have to go through with the divorce. But in order to stop a divorce, both spouses have to be willing to attempt reconciliation. No court will keep you in a marriage you don’t want to be in. So if you’re unsure of your rights and responsibilities after divorce paperwork has been filed, speak with a trusted Orlando family law attorney to help guide you.
Contact Our Divorce Law Firm in Orlando, FL
Contact the experienced Orlando divorce lawyers at McMichen, Cinami & Demps today for legal assistance. Contact our Orlando, FL office at (407) 898-2161 to schedule a free consultation.
McMichen, Cinami & Demps – Orlando Office
1500 E Concord St
Orlando, FL 32803