Written by on January 26, 2016 in Court, Divorce, Separation

Patrick Dempsey and his wife, Jillian, recently announced that they have decided to call off their divorce.  And now Donald Sterling and his wife, Shelly Sterling, have called off their divorce. Is this something you can do?  What happens if you decide to divorce again?

In California, at any time before a divorce is finalized, you and your spouse can absolutely decide to reconcile and give the marriage another chance.

The most complete way to do this is to dismiss the divorce proceedings in full.  If the other spouse has not filed a response with the Court, only the filing spouse needs to submit a request to dismiss the divorce proceedings.  If both spouses have filed their papers with the Court, then they will both need to sign the request to dismiss the divorce.  When a divorce proceeding is dismissed, all temporary orders associated with the case will be vacated as well.  This is important to consider for a number of reasons, for example, if you and your spouse are still living separately and sharing custody of the minor children.  Also, if you and your spouse decide to file for divorce again later, you will need to pay the filing fee to begin the process again.  Therefore, while this is the best way to completely dismiss a divorce, other options may suit your situation better.

If you just want to put your divorce on hold, you can do so by simply not submitting a Judgment to the Court.  This means that the divorce is still technically pending and can still be finalized at a later date, but you can take the time to attempt reconciliation in the meantime.  This is by no means a permanent method to calling off your divorce, and all temporary orders (including the Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders) are still in full force and effect.  Just keep in mind, if you let the divorce sit for too long, the Court may dismiss the divorce on its own motion

Before making the decision to put your divorce on hold or to call off/dismiss your divorce, you should speak with a family law attorney about your specific situation to see what is best for you and your family.

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