By Robert L. Mues   |   September 21st, 2019

Second Thoughts? Dismissal May Be Permitted Based On How Far The Divorce Case Is Along

divorce dismissal

The answer to this question likely depends on how far along your divorce case has progressed, as well as the reason to dismiss it. The earlier in the preceding you decide, the more likely the answer will be “yes”.

  • Withdrawal of Complaint: If you have just filed the complaint for divorce and no answer has been filed by your spouse, you may dismiss your complaint without permission of the Court. No problem!
  • Dismissal After Your Spouse Has Filed an Answer/Counterclaim:  At this point both parties have requested a divorce. Even though you had initiated the case, you do not have the option of dropping the whole case. If you dismissed your complaint, your spouse could proceed with his/her request for a divorce. The simple solution is for both sides to file a joint agreed upon dismissal entry signed by all parties and the lawyers. The Court would allow that as long as all Court costs have been paid.
  • Dismissal After Trial (But before a Decision). So, this point would arise very far down the pike. Most divorce cases typically take the better part of a year (or more) from initiating the case to get to trial. So, there has been a lot of time to evaluate a possible reconciliation and a joint dismissal of the case. After trial (but before a Judge’s decision), you are at the eleventh hour to dismiss it even by agreement of both parties! Again, the answer is “yes”
  • Dismissal After Trial, a Court Decision (but Before the Filing of a Final Decree of Divorce). The Court would likely permit a joint dismissal of the action even at this very late stage. The Judge may be a bit unhappy due to all the time the Court has invested in the matter, but without a Final Decree of Divorce having been filed, there is no official divorce order in effect so the action could be dismissed by a joint agreed dismissal order.
  • Dismissal After Court Decision and the Filing of the Final Decree of Divorce. The answer is likely “no”. There might be a slight chance depending on how long the Final Decree has been filed. Was there some sort of fraud or lack of voluntariness? There are strict timelines to file an appeal or a request to vacate the action under Civil Rule 60. You will need to discuss it with a divorce lawyer, but you may well be advised that your only recourse is to remarry your Ex.

Keep Your Family Law Lawyer In The Loop For Successful Dismissal Of Case

Divorce Courts encourage couple to be very deliberate before obtaining a divorce. Read a former 2009 post about the conciliation process in Montgomery County by clicking here. The bottom line is to keep your divorce lawyer in the loop about your feelings and about the possibility of remaining married as soon as possible! Don’t put it off until it is too late!

The lawyers at Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues are committed to providing our clients with excellent individualized representation and sound legal advice. Feel free to learn more about our firm at our website at www.hcmmlaw.com.  If you live in the Dayton or Southwestern Ohio area and are considering a divorce, please contact us at (937) 293-2141 or email us here. We would welcome an opportunity to discuss your situation.

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Robert L. MuesAbout The Author: Robert L. Mues
Robert Mues is the managing partner of Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues, and has received the highest rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability. Mr. Mues is also a founding member of the "International Academy of Attorneys for Divorce over 50" blog. Mr. Mues has also been a dog owner for 55+ years, and just recently, he and his wife are the owners of "Ralph", a rescued mixed Wire Hair and Jack Russell Terrier.

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