Canceling or dismissing your divorce case is possible after it is filed. You might want to do this because you are reconciling. You could even do it to stop a court battle or to stop your case from proceeding to a trial. However, there are some restrictions in California applicable to dismissing your divorce case.
Be aware that if you dismiss your divorce case, and later decide you want a divorce after all, you will have to re-file for divorce. This means you will have to pay the filing fee again, do the paperwork again and arrange to have your spouse served again with the divorce papers. In other words, you will have to start all over. The six months “cooling off” period (the soonest you can be divorced) also starts running all over again.
It may make more sense just to let the divorce case sit with the court while you attempt to work things out (a settlement or a reconciliation) with your spouse. The court will probably pester you every few months wanting to know the status of your case and urging you to move it along. But it is usually not hard to stall for an extended period of time.
If you’ve decided that dismissing your divorce case is what you want to do, you will need to fill out and file form CIV-110 – Request For Dismissal. This is a generic form used for many types of cases besides divorce cases.
Restrictions on Dismissing Your Divorce Case
- If you filed the case and your spouse has not filed a Response, only you as the Petitioner needs to complete, sign and file the dismissal.
- However, if your spouse has filed a Response in the case, your spouse will also have to sign the form giving consent to dismissal. This is because your spouse has legally joined the case and may want to continue with the divorce case, even if you don’t.
- A divorce case cannot be dismissed if any of the following exist in the case:
- Judgment (the final court order granting the divorce);
- Spousal support order;
- Child support order;
- Restraining order or temporary restraining order (TRO) or a pending request for a restraining order;
- A hearing date.
You say a divorce can not be dismissed if there is a child support order, does that include temporary child support?
My understanding of the law is that any kind of child support order in a divorce case would block a dismissal. The court would want to understand why the child support order is no longer necessary or appropriate before dismissing the divorce case. If the temporary child support order however came from a separate DCSS (Department of Child Support Services) case rather than from the divorce case, the situation might be different. I am not an attorney however so you may want to consult an attorney to see what your options are in your specific situation. There is also free help available at the courthouse.
What does it mean by case can’t be dismiss due to a hearing date?
Hi Regina, If there is a hearing scheduled that usually means that one of the spouses has filed a “motion” with the court in the divorce case, asking the court to decide something. If there is something pending like this, it first needs to be resolved one way or another (including perhaps canceling the hearing with the court), before the court will be able to dismiss the divorce case.
In divorce rfo continued for spousal and child support but found out my wife has a tumor possible breast cancer.
I want to reconcile and dismiss our divorce
What needs to be filed and what is the cost?
Hi Jake, Please see this from the court’s website telling you exactly what needs to be done: https://selfhelp.courts.ca.gov/divorce-california/dismiss-divorce-case
There’s no cost from the court, but you might want to get a paralegal to help you do it and the paralegal would have a small charge.
If it is filed “without prejudice”, is there a time frame we must wait to re file if the reconciliation is unsuccessful?
No, you could refile a week later if you want to. No matter how long the time gap, I think you will need to start and pay for a new case, but whether this is true is a question for a paralegal – which I am not.