If you decide you no longer want to proceed with your divorce, it is important to make sure the proceedings are not left open. You may have reconciled with your ex and wish to withdraw the proceedings or want to stop it for another reason.
Some couples decide to de-escalate their divorce to give them breathing space to work through conflict and consider their options without the added pressure of hurtling towards a final order. Whatever your reasons, this article discusses the considerations and process for withdrawing or stopping your divorce.
It is possible to withdraw a divorce application at any point until a final order has been pronounced by the court. This means that if you have started divorce proceedings but have since changed your mind, you can apply to have the proceedings dismissed. This is the legal way of describing withdrawing or stopping a divorce.
Can a divorce application be withdrawn?
A sole applicant may withdraw their divorce application at any time before it has been served on the respondent. This is done by giving notice in writing to the court. For joint divorce applications, both parties will need to apply for withdrawal.
What is the procedure for withdrawing a divorce application that has already been served?
If the divorce application has already been served on the respondent, then the applicant can apply to the court to have it dismissed.
To dismiss a divorce application, you will need to file an application asking for a court order or directions in the proceedings. The application must be made on Form D11, which is a formal document that sets out your request to the court. You must confirm on the form whether the respondent agrees to the withdrawal, and if not, you must say so. A higher fee must be paid in cases where the respondent refuses to consent to the withdrawal as a hearing may be needed.
What are the reasons people withdraw divorce applications?
The grounds for dismissing a divorce application vary from case to case, but some common reasons include:
- The parties have reconciled
- The applicant has changed their mind about wanting a divorce
What happens after making the divorce withdrawal application?
Once the D11 has been filed, the court will serve it on the respondent. The respondent will then have a chance to respond to the application. If the respondent agrees to the dismissal of the application, the court will simply make an order dismissing proceedings. This means that the case will no longer be live and active, and you will remain married or in a civil partnership.
If the respondent does not agree to the dismissal of the application, the court will hold a hearing to consider the matter. At the hearing, the court will hear from both parties and will then decide whether it should be dismissed.
What Happens if the application is withdrawn?
If the application to dismiss the divorce application is granted, the court will make an order to that effect. This means the divorce will not go ahead, and the parties will remain married/in a civil partnership.
However, it is important to note that if the application is dismissed and the divorce application successfully withdrawn, the parties will still be able to apply for a divorce in the future. They will simply need to start the process again from scratch.
If you are considering withdrawing a divorce application, it is important to speak to a legal specialist to discuss your options. They can help you prepare the paperwork and can also represent you at the hearing, if necessary.
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