Filing for a divorce is an expensive, time-consuming, and serious thing to do. When a couple decides they can no longer continue their marriage though, filing for a divorce is often the best option. But sometimes after an individual or a couple has filed for divorce, they may change their minds and wish to continue the marriage. Here's what you need to know about how to stop divorce proceedings.

The Process for Dissolution of Marriage in Washington

In Washington, a divorce is legally referred to as a “dissolution” of marriage. In order to file for a divorce, you will have to file what’s known as a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. Your dissolution must be served to the other party, i.e. your spouse from whom you are seeking a divorce. When your spouse receives the dissolution, he or she can make a motion to finalize or dismiss it.

Dismissing a Dissolution of Marriage Petition

If you have filed a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage (divorce papers), you have the right to dismiss them. If you and your spouse decide that you wish to continue your marriage, then you must complete the Motion and Order of Dismissal forms and ask your spouse to sign them. These forms are provided by the Washington Courts, and only request information regarding the parties’ names, the reason for the dismissal, and the signature of both parties.

If your spouse will not sign the forms, then you may have to ask the court to dismiss the case. Speak with a lawyer to review your legal options in such cases.

In the event that your spouse will sign the papers to stop divorce proceedings, then you will need a judge or court commissioner to sign the order. Obtaining the signature from a judge or court commissioner to dismiss a dissolution of marriage order is known as an “ex parte” motion. When you appear before the judge, you may be asked why you would like to dismiss the divorce proceedings, and whether or not your spouse agrees to the motion. If both parties are in agreement, the dismissal form will be signed, and the court case for dissolving your marriage will be over. If you change your mind about getting divorced, you will have to re-file your paperwork.

Consult a Family Law & Divorce Attorney Today

If you filed a petition to dissolve your marriage and wish to dismiss it or if you received the petition but do not agree with it, a divorce and family law attorney can help. If you need to file a motion to stop divorce proceedings, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny can provide you with the legal guidance you need. Or if you’re not sure what your rights are in refusing to sign a Dissolution of Marriage Petition, our legal team can answer all of your divorce questions.

Getting divorced is a serious decision, and one that will forever impact your life. If you need help filing for a divorce or stopping divorce proceedings, call our offices now at 425-460-0550 or contact us online.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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