Anywhere between immediately after filing for a divorce, to a day before the Final Order, one or both spouses may change their mind.
Some couples decide on getting a divorce after years of considering it, others may file for a divorce right after discovering an affair, or there are sudden changes in the relationship.
Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the divorce, some couples may have a change of heart. But depending on where you are in the divorce proceedings, will depend on whether you can cancel or not.
In this article, we will highlight why it’s okay to change your mind on divorce and what the process of cancelling a divorce looks like.
Why it’s okay to change your mind about divorce
We all know that choosing to have a divorce is a huge step, it is intensely difficult for both parties for various reasons.
Whatever the reason was for beginning the divorce process, it is always entered into with a view of drawing a line under the relationship and ultimately moving on, separately. However, sometimes plans do not quite go the way it was intended.
For some separating couples, the whole process can spark emotions they didn’t anticipate when they decided on divorcing. Some begin to mourn the relationship they once had and some even realise that they still have strong feelings for one another.
The problem is that people who are having second thoughts about the relationship are too afraid to say so. They feel like they are on a journey that they cannot stop. They’ve told friends and family, they have instructed solicitors and started to put plans in place. The prospect of stopping this process feels like it is impossible.
If this is something that you are feeling, we advise that you speak up as soon as possible. No matter what stage of the process you have reached, if you feel that you are making the wrong decision, it is best to make that known.
Obviously, there is the possibility that your partner will disagree and will want to continue with the divorce proceedings, however, what if they don’t?
What does the process look like for cancelling divorce proceedings?
Understandably, the further down the line the divorce proceedings have got, the more you would have invested financially and emotionally. And that may feel like a reason to keep going with a divorce. However, that investment will not have necessarily been wasted. There is nothing to say that you cannot press pause and explore the possibility of rekindling the relationship with your ex.
Providing both parties agree and depending on what stage you are at in the process, you can cancel divorce proceedings. If you reconcile the relationship at any stage, even after the pronouncement of the Conditional Order (the middle stage of the process), you can ask the court to withdraw the decree and dismiss the application. This would provide the effect of the application never being issued. However, this does mean that if the reconciliation of the relationship does not work out and you wish to pursue the divorce again, you will need to issue a new application and start the process from the beginning.
If both parties agree to withdraw from the process, this request can be made in writing and there is no requirement for anyone to attend court or explain the reasons for this decision. There will be a court fee. Under the new divorce rules again the parties can still ask the court through the online divorce portal to stop the divorce process right up to the day before the final order is applied for.
Once a divorce has been finalised, it can be extremely difficult to have the Final Order set aside. It will only be set aside if there has been a procedural or other irregularity. If that is not the case, the Final
Order cannot be made void. This means that you would be free to remarry your spouse if you wish.
It is therefore strongly recommended that if you are thinking about halting the proceedings or have reconciled your relationship, you must seek advice from a solicitor as soon as possible.
If you have any queries regarding this matter, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team of solicitors on 0333 577 7009 or 07 500 933 818.