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Once you file for divorce, how do you stop it?

Atlanta, GA |

My husband filed for divorce without telling me. He finally told me a couple of days later, but claims he did it because he was tired of our constant fighting. He said he wanted to motivate us to fix the problems, and quickly, before the court date. We've been fighting for a long time now, but I do love him, and for the sake of us as well as our kids, I'd like to try to fix our problems, before the court date. Our 30 day conference is in July. But my question is, will it make a difference? If, by some miracle, we reach a state of peace, and resolve enough of our problems that we're willing to make a go of it, can he rescind the divorce papers? Once filed, do we have to go through with it? Do they issue the final judgement at the 30 day conference?

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Attorney answers 4


The answer to your primary question is no, you do not have to go forward with a divorce if you do not want to. The Fulton County 30-Day Status Conference is just that, a status conference. It is not a formal hearing, although the judicial officer you will appear before (rather than the judge) may use the conference to deal with temporary issues, and may even send people to mediate, but what the court cannot do is force you to finalize the divorce at the 30-Day.

Regarding dismissal, if neither of you go to the 30-Day status conference the case will likely be dismissed. Or, if you konw you want the case dismissed, your husband can simply prepare and file a document called a "Voluntary Dismissal Without Prejudice," which will dismiss the case.

Just make sure that you and your husband are in agreement as to how the matter will be handled. For instance, if you are in agreement that the case should be dismissed, make sure he immediately takes steps to dismiss the case. Do not simply trust that he will do the right thing and not pursue the case, as this could technically hurt you in the long run. For instance, if he does not take steps to dismiss the case, then you will need to file an answer to the complaint, because if you do not file an answer your husband could technically request that the matter be placed on a trial calendar and you would not be entitled to formal notice as you never filed a responsive pleading (answer). If this happens the court could enter a final order, and worst of all the final order will contain all of the terms request by your husband.

Therefore, if you plan on working on your marriage I wish you the best of luck. Just make sure you get the case dismissed, or at the very least you file an answer and monitor the status of the case. If your plan is to simply dismiss the case, then an attorney may not be needed, but if the case is not going to be immediately dismissed you should at least speak with an attorney do that you fully understand your options.

Thank you and good luck!


Nothing contained herein shall be considered or construed as creating an attorney client relationship between the party asking the question and the attorney. All legal problems are different. The answer given is only a general response based upon the facts provided and should not be considered specific advice for your case. Always contact a lawyer for advice about your particular circumstances and issues.


A Complaint can always be withdrawn, especially if you both agree, but you have to make certain that he has withdrawn the complaint.

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He can file a "voluntary dismissal" to rescind it. However, you should go to the status conference or else an order may be entered against you. At the status conference, you can tell the judicial officer that you want to try to reconcile, and the judicial officer may reset the case to give you the time you need. The purpose of the conference is to tell the court what the issues are and what you need to resolve them. The court may have resources available to help you. In any event, you should seek advice of an attorney so that you can learn about all your legal rights based upon your particular circumstances--and find a really good marriage counselor.


Unless you actually see a file stamped copy of a dismissal, your husband has NOT dismissed his case (and if THAT is the case, you need a lawyer and with children involved cannot afford not to get counsel).

File stamped means not just that he signed it but that the clerk received it.

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