What Happens If I Want to Cancel or Back Out of My Divorce?

Many times after filing the paperwork with the court, a petitioner decides that ending the marriage is not what they really wanted. Changing your mind after going through with filing is quite common, and we want to explain what your options are in different situations as they might apply to you.

Traditional marriages and domestic partnerships follow different protocols and require you to file various documents and in different locations. Your attorney can help you through this and make things much simpler and less stressful.

With traditional divorces, filing a Request for Dismissal designates that individual as the Petitioner. Because California is a no-fault state, divorces are granted when one or both spouses decide they no longer wish to remain married. The courts allow the Petitioner to change their mind but recognize that allowing the Respondent to do so would violate the rights of the Petitioner. The Respondent's failure to sign documents does not keep the court from granting the divorce.

If you are the Respondent and want to stop the divorce, we can discuss options that might help accomplish this for you. However, there are no guarantees regarding reconciling with your spouse. Something that you might find positive at this time involves seeking marital counseling for both of you. Even if this does not stop the divorce, it can provide you with the means to move forward with your life.

When you and your spouse's union is a domestic partnership and either of you files for Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership. Such Terminations become effective six months after the filing date. However, few domestic partnerships are eligible for Termination, as there are several requirements that both partners must meet. However, because both partners must sign the Notice, either can stop the proceedings by filing a Notice of Revocation of Termination of Domestic Partnership within the mandatory six months.

Most domestic partnerships fall outside the bounds of the above requirements, so more individuals file a Petition for Dissolution of Domestic Partnership, instead. The criteria to stop this type of dissolution is similar to that of a traditional divorce.

The Secretary of State's office recommends either fully understanding all of the ramifications of such proceedings, as well as each individual's right and responsibilities or having legal representation. Discussing such matters with a licensed professional can save you time, money, and help you obtain the results you want and need.