Thanks to no-fault divorce laws there is no legal way to stop a divorce once the process begins. Under no-fault divorce laws an individual has a right to obtain a divorce without having to prove grounds for a divorce.
In other words, we no longer live in the fifties where a spouse had to prove infidelity or domestic abuse in order to extract themselves from a bad marriage. Under the law marriage is considered a contract and laws are set up to protect the one who wishes to break the contract, not the one who wishes to continue in the contract.
If your motivation for wanting to stop your divorce is to restore the marriage you have no legal recourse. You can take legal maneuvers that will stall your divorce and drag it out but, eventually your spouse will be able to divorce you.
However, if you and your spouse decide to reconcile, the legal process can be stopped by withdrawing the petition for divorce. This would have to be done by the spouse who filed the original divorce petition.
It is possible to stop a divorce via reconciliation if you are able to show your spouse that you have changed, are willing to work on the problems in the marriage and your spouse’s heart is open to “trying again.”
If you truly wish to stop a divorce that is already in process the following advice may help. But, only if your spouse still has some emotional investment in the marriage.
How to Respond and Hopefully Put the Brakes on Your Divorce:
- When you learn of the divorce, temper your response. Do not respond angrily or with hostility. Show concern for the fact that your spouse has, emotionally, gotten to the point that he/she feels divorce is their only solution.
- Take responsibility for your role in the problems in the marriage. Give your spouse the opportunity to share with you how they are feeling and what they consider to be the problems and respond by validating their feelings and offering to work with them toward finding solutions for the problems.
- Ask your spouse to put the divorce on hold until you two have worked with a marital therapist.
Whether or not you are able to stop your divorce will depend greatly on how severe the marital problems are and how emotionally withdrawn your spouse has become.