What If We Change Our Minds During a Divorce?
Getting a divorce is an emotionally draining process, but what happens when one or both parties have a change of heart? Is it possible to slam the brakes on the proceedings?
The answer is yes, it’s possible to stop a divorce once it’s started, but the process is not straightforward and depends on the state’s legal regulations.
Here in Arizona, we operate under specific laws that dictate how a divorce can be stopped.
We’ll delve into the following topics:
- Understanding the Divorce Process
- The Legal Framework: Arizona Revised Statutes
- Halting Divorce: When and How?
- Role of Reconciliation in Halting Divorce
- How a Paraprofessional from De Novo Law Can Help
- When Reconciliation Fails: Next Steps
It is normal to change your mind, and being informed is the first step in navigating this complex issue.
Keep reading to learn more about the process, and remember that at De Novo Law, we’re ready to provide the guidance and support you need.
Understanding the Divorce Process
Divorce, or the dissolution of marriage, is a legal process that ends spouses’ marital rights and responsibilities.
In Arizona, one spouse must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, initiating divorce. Following this, the other spouse is served with divorce papers, triggering a response period.
The nature of the divorce, contested or uncontested, significantly impacts the process and its length.
- Contested Divorce: In a contested divorce, disagreements on child custody, parenting time, or property division can lead to lengthy court battles. For example, if spouses cannot agree on child custody arrangements or how to divide property, this could result in an extended legal process.
- Uncontested Divorce: In contrast, an uncontested divorce, where both parties agree on all pertinent issues, typically wraps up much more quickly. For instance, if spouses agree on the terms of child custody, parenting time, and property division, the process can be expedited.
The Legal Framework: Arizona Revised Statutes
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) form the legal foundation for marital and family law in the state.
Specifically, ARS § 25-316 discusses the ability to delay divorce proceedings for the purpose of attempted reconciliation before the divorce is finalized.
Under the statutes of Arizona, a period of 60 days, often referred to as a ‘pause’ or ‘waiting period,’ is mandatory.
This holds even if you’ve chosen not to react to the initial divorce filing.
Therefore, your spouse cannot secure a ‘default divorce’ until this 60-day timeframe has passed.
This gives you a two-month window to explore the possibility of mending your relationship.
This gives couples a window of opportunity to halt the divorce process, at least temporarily, if they wish to work on their marital issues.
Halting Divorce: When and How?
Halting a divorce once it’s started is indeed possible. As mentioned, Arizona law allows for a delay in the proceedings if there’s a chance of reconciliation.
But it’s essential to communicate this desire to the court promptly.
Withdrawal of the divorce petition can also stop the process.
This requires the spouse who initiated the divorce to file a motion asking the court to dismiss the case.
But remember, if the other spouse objects and wishes to continue with the divorce, the court may deny the motion.
Role of Reconciliation in Halting Divorce
A successful attempt at reconciliation can halt divorce proceedings entirely.
Many couples use the delay period for attending marriage counseling or mediation to resolve their issues.
If both spouses agree to stop the divorce after reconciliation, they can jointly ask the court to dismiss their case.
However, it’s crucial to approach reconciliation cautiously, considering the best interests of any minor children involved.
An off-and-on divorce process can confuse and distress children.
How a Paraprofessional from De Novo Law Can Help
A legal paraprofessional from De Novo Law can assist those seeking to stop a divorce. They can help draft and file necessary motions, communicate effectively with the court, and ensure that your desire for reconciliation is appropriately considered.
Paraprofessionals at De Novo Law are experts in Arizona family law, including child custody issues, parenting time, legal separation, and dissolution of marriage. With a deep understanding of the nuances of both contested and uncontested divorces, they are well-equipped to navigate this complex process.
When a divorce involves a minor child can become especially convoluted. Navigating these complexities is where a paraprofessional’s expertise is invaluable. They can help ensure that the child’s best interests are prioritized and that both parents understand their rights and responsibilities regarding child custody.
When Reconciliation Fails: Next Steps
Despite best efforts, not all attempts at reconciliation succeed.
The divorce process resumes if the reconciliation period doesn’t lead to a resolution.
At this point, it’s crucial to have knowledgeable and compassionate legal assistance to navigate the path forward.
This is another juncture where a legal paraprofessional from De Novo Law can provide support.
They can help spouses navigate the ongoing divorce process, providing guidance and support on issues ranging from the division of assets and debts to child custody and parenting time.
Speak with a Legal Paraprofessional Regarding Divorce
At De Novo Law, we stand ready to help you understand your options, guide you through the process, and support you in making the right decision for you and your family.
Whether you’re seeking to halt a divorce or need assistance moving forward with the process, we’re here to provide the guidance and support you need.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. De Novo Law, LLC and its Legal Paraprofessionals are not attorneys and are not authorized to provide legal advice or representation beyond the areas and scope of practice for which license is held. The transmission or receipt of any electronic correspondence or information does not create a legal paraprofessional-client relationship.
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