What Is a Withdrawn Divorce?

If circumstances change or a couple decides to reconcile after filing for divorce, it is possible to terminate the legal proceedings. This act of stopping the divorce process is known as a withdrawn divorce. A withdrawn divorce essentially dismisses the divorce petition filed with the court.

Common Reasons Couples Withdraw Their Petitions

There are several reasons why a couple might choose to withdraw a divorce petition, including:

  • Reconciliation. The primary reason for withdrawing a divorce petition is a desire to mend the relationship and remain married. This could be due to renewed commitment, successful couples therapy, or simply a change of heart.
  • Premature filing. The petition might have been filed impulsively or due to temporary circumstances. Withdrawing allows for a chance to reevaluate the situation.
  • Financial considerations. Divorce can be a financially complex process, and some couples may choose to withdraw their petition if they realize the potential costs outweigh the benefits. This could involve concerns about dividing marital assets, spousal support, or child custody arrangements.
  • Focus on or concern for children. In situations with children, couples might prioritize their well-being and choose to remain married for the sake of stability. This could involve a desire to avoid the emotional and logistical challenges associated with a divorce for the children.
  • External pressure. Occasionally, external pressures such as family influence or religious beliefs might lead couples to reconsider divorce and attempt reconciliation.

When & How Can You Withdraw a Divorce Petition?

You can withdraw or cancel your divorce up until the petition is finalized. However, the steps you need to take vary based on when in the process you wish to withdraw.

If you wish to withdraw your divorce petition, here are the instances when withdrawal is possible:

  • If your summons hasn’t been served yet. If you haven’t served the other party with divorce papers, you (the petitioner) will need to file a Notice of Discontinuance.
  • If your divorce summons has been served, but the other party hasn’t responded. Again, in this case, the petitioner should file a Notice of Discontinuance.
  • If your summons has been served and responded to. If you have filed and the other party filed their response, you will need to file a notice with the court, with both parties’ signatures and approval, expressing your wish to cancel your divorce.

What to Consider Before Withdrawing Your Petition

Before moving forward, it's vital to carefully consider the underlying reasons for the initial divorce filing. Ignoring the core marital issues that led to the separation can create further problems down the line. If the root causes haven't been addressed, simply withdrawing the petition is unlikely to create a lasting solution.

Consulting with an attorney is essential, regardless of whether you ultimately decide to withdraw or proceed with the divorce. An attorney can provide valuable guidance on the legal implications of both options, explain the withdrawal process in your specific jurisdiction, and ensure that any agreements made during the reconciliation process are documented correctly. Their counsel can help protect your rights and interests throughout this complex decision-making period.

While you might also consider seeking counsel from friends and family who understand your relationship, external pressure and counsel should not be the deciding factor behind withdrawal. A successful recommitment should be based on a genuine desire to rebuild the relationship and a willingness to work through existing problems.

Consult with Our Attorneys

At Arnel Law Firm, we support our clients’ wishes and case goals. Whether you want to pursue a divorce or discuss the withdrawal process, we are here and ready to offer comprehensive counsel.

Schedule an initial consultation by calling (718) 550-3024.