Can a Divorce be Dismissed in Dallas, TX?

Sometimes a couple will file for divorce, only to realize halfway through the process that they do not, in fact, want to get a divorce. Fortunately, simply filing for divorce does not make the separation permanent. So long as both parties agree to a reconciliation before the divorce is final, it can be dismissed without any further ado. However, the sooner you realize in the process that divorce is not for you, the better, as it will help you keep legal and attorney fees to a minimum.

If you and your spouse have already begun the divorce process but have decided that you no longer want to go through with it, reach out to the family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Clark. We can help you get the divorce dismissed with as little hassle and fanfare as possible.

Nonsuit a Divorce in Dallas, TX

If both parties have filed for relief, then dismissing the divorce will require both parties to file a motion for dismissal. However, if only one party was seeking relief from the marriage, then only that party has to dismiss the action. When only one party is required to take action, this is called a Nonsuit, and it requires very little legal action to complete. However, in order for a Nonsuit to remain as such, it must be filed before all of the plaintiff’s (or the petitioner’s) evidence is presented to the judge.

To file a Nonsuit, you would simply file a Notice of Nonsuit. So long as the other spouse did not file for relief as well, the judge would sign an Order Granting Nonsuit, which then becomes the Final Order. Due to the Final Order, if either party wanted a divorce again in the future, they would have to file a second time.

When Both Parties File for Relief

If both parties have filed for some sort of relief, and only one has filed a motion to dismiss the divorce, the divorce will remain pending. A divorce may only be dismissed if both parties agree to it.

An important point to keep in mind is that if both parties file for relief, and then one moves to dismiss the divorce but the other does not, the person that filed for dismissal may be responsible for the other’s attorney fees.

Dismissal for Want of Prosecution

Sometimes one or both parties of a marriage will file for divorce but then neither will pursue further action. When this happens, the judge will assume that neither party actually wanted the divorce and set the case for dismissal. This is called a Dismissal for Want of Prosecution (DWOP). Both parties will be notified of the action to dismiss and be given the chance to object to it. If neither party shows up for the dismissal hearing, the case will be dismissed. If one or both parties do show up, however, the judge will set the case for trial, order divorce mediation, or reset the dismissal hearing.

Consult With a Dallas Divorce Attorney

At the Clark Law Group, we highly recommend consulting with a divorce attorney, a divorce mediator, or even a marriage counselor before following through with a divorce. Divorce is expensive. From the initial attorney retainer fee to the court-filing fee, the initial costs can be great. If you are not 100% certain that you want a divorce, our Dallas divorce attorneys recommend holding off until you are certain that you do.

If you and your spouse cannot decide what to do, there is always the option of a legal separation. Though a legal separation does require some help from an attorney, the initial costs are significantly less and the process much easier to undo. To consult with one of our Dallas family law attorneys today, call the Clark Law Group at (214) 438-1152, or schedule your consultation online.

(image courtesy of Frank McKenna)

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