The divorce process can be long and drawn out, but how long can a divorce be put on hold? It’s a question that many couples have to ask themselves.
In this post, we will provide some information on how long divorce proceedings can be halted pending certain circumstances and the legal processes you need to know about this issue.
How Long Can a Divorce be Put on Hold
The answer is it depends on your legal system. But, in the USA, you will generally get 60 to 90 days to put your divorce on hold. It varies from county to county. Within this time frame, spouses need to make their final decision on whether to divorce finally or withdraw the file. More steps and answers regarding this point will be discussed below.
2 Legal Ways to Hold the Divorce Proceedings
Once you file for divorce, you are obliged to follow through and give divorce proceedings time to play out. But, if you and your spouse both want to reconcile your marriage, then there are two simple ways in which you can hold the divorce proceedings if certain conditions apply:
Apply for the Motion to Abate
A couple can file a written agreement with the court stating that they are not seeking divorce now, hoping to change their mind to keep their marriage alive. This is known as a motion to abate. Depending on the circumstances and county, the court may allow 60 to 90 days to consider their future.
Suppose you require more time because of mental incapacity, lack of knowledge or understanding, or any other reason to save the marriage. In that case, you may request another hearing before the judge who granted your divorce.
By attending the divorce hearing, you’ll need to show evidence that proves one spouse’s inability/incompetence prevents them from making decisions about ending his/her marriage (i.e., serious illness).
Finally, if you decide to divorce, you need to apply for a Motion to Continue the Proceedings, and the court will decide whether to grant the motion based on whether there are other reasons why a divorce should not be granted at this time.
At this stage, you have to settle everything on the divorce settlement agreement, including child custody. Otherwise, later, you may have to suffer the Parental Alienation problem. So, you should be aware to prevent that.
Apply for Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss the Dissolution:
But what if the couple decides to stay together instead of divorce? Then they need to inform that within that time frame by applying for the motion to dismiss the dissolution voluntarily. The court will welcome your decision.
But, you will not get a refund of the fees you paid while filing the divorce proceedings. I think you are not worried about that money!
An LJ Law, Nevada representative, discussed this to answer the question, “Can I Put My Divorce Proceedings On Hold?”. Watch it:
FAQs on How Long Can a Divorce be Put on Hold
Will the divorce process be suspended automatically?
The answer is no. The divorce process will not automatically be suspended if you have filed it. But there is a chance that the court may hold it in abeyance for 90 days when certain conditions apply.
The parties can request this period by filing an agreement to stay proceedings or by filling out forms requesting a hearing on why the divorce should not be granted (such as proving one spouse’s mental incapacity).
Can I re-submit for divorce after the Motion to Dismiss?
Sure you can. But you have to start from the beginning by following all the procedures again. You have to pay relevant court fees and attorneys fees. So, the door is always open for you.
Can I change my mind after signing the divorce agreement?
The answer is Yes, you and your spouse can mutually change your mind to keep your marriage alive, but this will not change the court order. But you don’t have any other option without remarrying. A court can’t do anything regarding this point.
Can a single spouse suspend the divorce proceedings alone?
So, your spouse applied for divorce, and you alone want to suspend it? No, you can’t do that. The only way for either spouse in a divorce proceeding (or even just one) is for the other spouse to agree and sign off on this action.
If your ex refuses or doesn’t want to cooperate, then there’s no way they will ever go along with suspending proceedings. However, you can try your best to make him/her agree.
Can I change my mind after signing the divorce papers?
The short answer to this question is simply no. You cannot change your mind after signing the final divorce papers. For the court to nullify your divorce, they would have to run a trial and prove that there was fraud or coercion in getting you to sign the divorce papers.
That means, at this stage court will agree to hear you only if there is any solid legal ground. Unlikely, you don’t have enough chance.
In contentious divorces, parties can hold the proceedings to consider alternatives. But, to do that, both spouses must be mutually agreed upon and follow the above two legal steps. You always need to take advice from your local family lawyers to solve these problems.