Sometimes love does indeed conquer all. Sometimes a divorcing couple decides to give their marriage another chance and wants to put a halt to their divorce case. While a spouse who files for divorce is always free to dismiss the divorce case at any time, this may not always be a wise decision. What happens if you dismiss your divorce case, and what should you consider before putting the brakes on your Illinois divorce?
Dismissing Your Case – How Do You Do it and What Happens Next?
A civil or criminal lawsuit is able to be dismissed by the individual who filed the suit (the petitioner or plaintiff, depending on the type of case) with very few limitations. Usually when a lawsuit is dismissed voluntarily by the person who filed it, the case is dismissed without prejudice. This means that the plaintiff or petitioner is able to refile the case at a later date if he or she chooses. (By contrast, a dismissal with prejudice means that the plaintiff or petitioner cannot refile the lawsuit based upon the same facts – it is very rare for a divorce to be dismissed with prejudice). You cannot “dismiss” a divorce that has already been finalized by the court.
Once a dismissal is filed with the court and approved by the judge, your case is taken off of the court’s docket and any and all temporary orders that the court entered will be vacated. That means any custody orders, temporary alimony or child support orders, and/or orders of protection entered as part of the divorce proceeding will be immediately null and void.
Considerations before Dismissing Your Case
Dismissing your divorce case in order to give your marriage another chance sounds romantic; however, you should consider the implications of your decision before having your attorney draft the appropriate dismissal documents. For instance, consider that:
- Any court orders will be immediately dismissed as well. If money or child custody was an issue in your marriage before you filed for divorce, these problems are likely to return as there are no longer any court orders dictating how you and your spouse ought to handle these issues;
- Your divorce may be refiled, but it will cost you. Even though your divorce petition can most likely be refiled if things do not work out, your case will start over from the beginning. It will be as if you had never filed for divorce in the first place. This can end up costing you in court and administrative costs and time; and
- Consider continuing your case without dismissing it. Every court and family law judge in Illinois has his or her own rules concerning how long it will allow divorce proceedings to be delayed or postponed; however, you may be able to try a reconciliation without dismissing your divorce petition right away. If this is done and the reconciliation fails, your divorce case would resume from where it left off.
Speak with our skilled DuPage County divorce attorneys today if you are considering dismissing your divorce case. We will listen to your concerns and help you make an appropriate decision for your situation and circumstances. Contact us to discuss your divorce case by calling 630-871-1002 today.