Can I Undo My Divorce Decree?
Coming to the decision to dissolve a marriage usually follows months or even years of deliberation. For example, many couples choose to attend therapy to sort out their differences before actually filing for divorce, while others fear the impact that separation will have on their minor children and so may attempt to hold off on filing until they are out of the house. Regardless of the circumstances, when a couple has actually decided to divorce, they are usually committed to that decision.
However, it is also not unheard of for a couple to decide mid-divorce or even following a divorce decree that they want to attempt to repair their marriage. While this may mean only good things for the parties on a personal level, it can also raise a host of unique legal problems, so whether you have begun the divorce process and have since decided not to dissolve your marriage, or even if you are considering divorce, but are unsure whether it is the appropriate plan of action for your family, it is critical to speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer who can explain the legal repercussions of your decision.
Dismissing a Pending Divorce
The level of difficulty faced by a couple who have changed their minds about divorce depends on how far the case has proceeded. For example, courts are wary of undoing a divorce decree after it has been issued and will usually only overturn an order in limited circumstances. On the other hand, having a pending divorce case dismissed is much easier and involves the withdrawal of the petition for divorce by filing a voluntary motion for dismissal. In most cases, only one party needs to file this petition, although it may be necessary for both spouses to do so if one of the parties filed a counterclaim earlier in the case. If the court approves the motion, all further divorce proceedings would cease, as would all temporary child support, alimony, or custody orders.
Vacating a Final Judgment
Once a judge has considered all divorce-related matters, including child custody issues, child support, alimony, and property division, he or she will release a written decision that can be used to enforce the court’s order. As their name implies, final judgements are considered permanent, so the process of overturning one is difficult. Generally, courts are only willing to overturn a prior decision when:
- There is evidence that a serious mistake was made during the proceedings;
- New evidence has been discovered; or
- There is evidence of fraud, misrepresentation, or bad conduct by a party to the proceedings.
Parties who want to reopen a divorce case can also use these arguments when attempting to prove that a case should be reconsidered or modified.
Get Legal Advice Today
If you have questions about the final judgment that was issued in your own divorce case, or want to dismiss your divorce petition, please contact 954-945-7591 to schedule a consultation with experienced and compassionate Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A.