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.