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Withdrawing a Divorce Petition

Updated on December 11, 2010

You are permitted to ask the court to withdraw your divorce petition at any point before the judge finalizes the divorce. You must file what is called a motion to dismiss without prejudice. Each state and county has its own specific procedure for filling out and filing the motion. Some courts have forms to fill out, while others require a letter requesting that your divorce petition be withdrawn. In some cases, your spouse must also approve the divorce cancelation.

While it is possible to cancel your divorce proceedings yourself, a lawyer can help you navigate the process and make sure all necessary documents are submitted correctly and on time. As the process is simple for a professional, an attorney will be a relatively small expense.

Spouse's Initial Response

If your spouse has not yet filed any forms other than a notice of appearance, you are allowed to withdraw the divorce petition yourself without his approval. If he had filed a form, it will have been mailed to you by the court. If your spouse did file an answer or counterclaim, he must follow the same procedure as you for withdrawing his petition.

Find a Form

Go to the family court in your county -- or whichever court you submitted your initial divorce request to -- and ask the clerk of the court if there is a specific form to ask for the withdrawal of a petition. If a form is available, take it. Otherwise, ask the clerk for assistance in crafting a letter to request that the court withdraw your petition for divorce. For instance, requests to withdraw a petition form in Beaver County, Pennsylvania look like the image to the right (click for full size).

Fill Out Form

Fill out the form you received or draft your own motion to dismiss petition using a sample. Your name and spouse's name are required, and you should provide the case number the court attached to your divorce proceedings. You do not need to go into great deal as to why you wish to withdraw your petition to divorce; you need only state that you and your spouse have reconciled. Sign and date the petition.

File the Form

File the motion to dismiss with the court that is hearing your divorce case. It is a good idea to retain an attorney to read over your petition and ensure that it has been done correctly. You can likely hire an experienced family law attorney to look over and submit your petition on your behalf for around $100. While you won't be able to get the initial fees you paid to file your divorce petition, withdrawing your divorce request with the aid of an attorney will save you a lot of money in legal costs to undo the divorce.


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