Divorce is the final ending of a marriage. At the end of a divorce case, the court orders property to be divided a certain way, decides who will have custody of the couple’s children, determines how much support must be paid, and restores the spouse’s former last name, if requested.
The process of divorce can take several months or even longer in some cases, leading some people to change their minds and question, “Can you stop a divorce after filing?”
While filing a divorce petition is the first step in a divorce case and officially begins the legal process of ending a marriage, it is only one of many. Divorce courts in New Jersey are often asked to stop divorce proceedings before they have concluded. And it’s not over until it’s over, so there may be a way to stop a divorce case if you’ve changed your mind.
Filing a Motion To Dismiss a New Jersey Divorce Petition
If you are the petitioner and have changed your mind about wanting a divorce, your Monmouth County divorce lawyer can file a motion to dismiss the divorce petition.
This process typically involves:
- Completing the necessary paperwork
- Filing the paperwork with the court
- Notifying your spouse of the motion to dismiss the divorce petition
Depending on the circumstances and whether your spouse contests the motion, the court may grant the motion and sign a document to dismiss the case. Alternatively, it may schedule a hearing at which you would have to explain why you are seeking to dismiss the divorce petition, and your spouse could present their case.
As long as the court has not entered a final decree dissolving the divorce, it may be able to stop the divorce process by following these steps.
Grounds For Divorce in New Jersey
If you were not the spouse who petitioned for divorce and you want to stop the divorce proceedings, your options will be limited.
New Jersey law does not require a spouse to continue in a marriage that they do not want to be part of. However, you may be able to at least temporarily stop the divorce proceedings if you can show that your spouse does not have legal grounds for requesting a divorce.
New Jersey recognizes no-fault and at-fault grounds for divorce.
No-fault grounds state that a married couple has irreconcilable differences.
To meet these grounds, the petitioning spouse must be able to show all of the following:
- They or their spouse have lived in New Jersey for at least twelve consecutive months.
- They have experienced irreconcilable differences for at least six months.
- The irreconcilable differences are a reason the marriage should be dissolved.
- They are certain there is no chance for reconciliation.
If you can attack these grounds, such as by showing that neither one of you has lived in New Jersey for twelve months or that you have reconciled, you may be able to have the divorce petition dismissed.
At-fault grounds claim that the marriage should be dissolved because of some type of misconduct that occurred during the marriage that is the fault of one of the spouses.
The at-fault grounds in New Jersey for divorce include:
- Abandonment for at least twelve months
- Extreme cruelty
- Drug addiction
- Institutionalization for mental illness for at least 24 months
- Imprisonment for eighteen or more consecutive months
- Deviant sexual conduct
To show these grounds for divorce, the spouse wanting the divorce will need to provide evidence that meets the specific statutory definition. An experienced Monmouth County family law attorney can review your case and determine if your spouse will be unable to prove these grounds.
Contact a Monmouth County Divorce Attorney If You Have Questions About Stopping the Divorce Process
If you have questions or need advice regarding a divorce proceeding, it’s best to consult an experienced family lawyer. You can discuss your specific situation and determine the best path forward for you and your family.
To learn more and get the help you deserve, call our divorce & family law firm in Red Bank. NJ at (732) 747-1882 or contact us online today.
You can also visit our law firm at 157 Broad St #111, Red Bank, NJ 07701.