A shredded paper reading "MARRIAGE" reassembled on a table with two wedding rings on either side.

Can You Cancel a Divorce in California?

Can You Cancel a Divorce in California?

Divorce can be a confusing and nerve-racking process for anyone. Regardless of how amicable or contentious a California divorce is, it’s no secret that emotions tend to run high before, during, and after the legal proceedings, as is often the case when it comes to family law disputes.

Getting “cold feet” is a common term to describe hesitant spouses-to-be before they commit to forever, but fewer people know that divorce can invoke the same “second thoughts” crisis that weddings can. Is it possible to withdraw your petition after filing for divorce in California? Keep reading to learn more about canceling a California divorce.

Can Couples Change Their Minds About Divorce?

Life can be unpredictable, and love is no exception. Relationships are often chock-full of surprises and unexpected turns that can drastically alter the partnership. While many couples undergo significant changes out of the public eye, others aren’t as fortunate; however, changing your mind about divorce is more common than you might think.

Why do some couples decide to “cancel” their divorce? In California, there are countless reasons why a couple may decide to withdraw their divorce petition. Perhaps they achieved a breakthrough in couples counseling, resolved foundational conflicts, or realized their disagreements were not as irreconcilable as they initially thought. Maybe the reason is as simple as a shift in perspective, or the financial implications of divorce have become too daunting.

Is Divorce Cancellation the Right Decision?

Before proceeding with the cancellation of a divorce, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons under your unique circumstances. Here are a few factors to consider before making any final decisions:

  • Reflect on mutual agreement –Both parties need to agree on withdrawing the divorce petition.
  • Consider couples counseling –Have you sought professional help like marriage counseling or therapy? These services can provide valuable insights into your relationship.
  • Consider financial implications –Are you aware of the financial consequences of both divorce and reconciliation?
  • Take children's health and well-being into account –For couples with children, the health and emotional well-being of their kids is likely a top priority. It can be worthwhile to consider the potential impacts that canceling (or proceeding with) the divorce may have on their lives. What is in the child's best interests?
  • Understand what change(s) prompted the change of heart –Were there significant positive changes since the initial filing that make you believe the marriage can work? Do you anticipate their longevity, or suspect these changes are more likely to be short-term or “band-aid” solutions?

6 Steps to Withdraw a Divorce Petition in San Diego

Whatever the reason, canceling a divorce isn't unheard of. People change, situations evolve, and sometimes, couples find their way back to each other even after filing for divorce. What steps can formerly divorcing couples take upon having a change of heart about their marriage dissolution?

Below are 6 steps to withdraw a divorce petition in California:

  1. Ensure mutual agreement. Both spouses must agree to cancel the divorce after the petition has been filed.
  2. File a “Request for Dismissal” form. The petitioner (the person who originally filed for divorce) must file a “Request for Dismissal” form (CIV-110) with the court.
  3. Complete and submit the required paperwork. The couple should take care to fill out the form correctly and in its entirety to obtain a favorable outcome. After filling out the form, submit it to the clerk of the court where your divorce case is pending. It’s wise to keep a copy for your records.
  4. Wait for a response. The court will review your request. If approved, an order dismissing the divorce case will be issued.
  5. Notify the other party. Once the dismissal has been granted, the petitioner must serve a copy of the dismissal to the respondent (the other spouse).

Compassionate Advocacy for San Diego Families

At Family Law San Diego, we're passionate about protecting families and empowering Californians to start the fresh chapter they deserve. Our firm understands how delicate and complicated family law proceedings can be, which is why our compassionate advocates are committed to guiding your steps with care, empathy, and honesty.

With award-winning family lawyers on your side, San Diego residents can trust us to provide the customized legal solutions and superior representation they deserve. Reach out to our office to learn how we can help you navigate your upcoming divorce or other family law dispute in the Golden State.

Family matters can be emotional and complex, but you don’t have to navigate the proceedings alone. Call (619) 577-4900 to request a free consultation with an experienced family lawyer in San Diego.