Whether or not you can stop divorce proceedings in Indiana depends on who filed for the divorce and who wants to stop it. When a spouse files for divorce, but the other party wants to stay in the marriage, they may look for a way to stop the divorce to keep the marriage intact. Stopping divorce proceedings in this situation however may not be easy. This blog discusses when divorce proceedings in Indiana can be stopped and how to do it.
A party who files for a divorce, or a dissolution of marriage as it is called in Indiana, may stop the proceedings at any time by filing a motion to dismiss the action. If a counter petition has been filed by the other party, or one is filed within five days of the filing of a motion to dismiss, the divorce will proceed as normal. Either of the parties may then request a final hearing at least sixty (60) days after the original petition for dissolution of marriage was filed with the court. If no counter petition is filed, the proceedings will stop, and the action will be dismissed.
The party who did not file the petition to initiate the action cannot stop the proceedings so easily, and possibly not at all. Indiana recognizes an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” as a ground for divorce. This is a no-fault ground, and a party who files for divorce based on this ground is entitled to a dissolution of marriage, even if the other party does not want one. That being said, if at final hearing, the court finds that there is a reasonable possibility of reconciliation, it can continue the hearing and order the parties to attempt reconciliation by attending counseling. It may be quite difficult however to convince the court that reconciliation is possible if your spouse testifies that it is not possible and the two of you can no longer live together as husband and wife.
If your spouse has filed for divorce and you want to stay married, you will need to find a way to stop the divorce, outside of the legal system. When a person files for divorce, they clearly believe that the marriage is broken. The first step in saving the marriage then is finding out what specifically is broken. After all, if you do not know what is broken, you cannot fix it. But before running to your spouse asking what you could have possibly done, spend some time thinking about it. Most people do not simply wake up one morning and decide to file for divorce for reasons completely unknown to their spouse. Complaints have been made and issues gone unresolved. Your spouse has put a lot of thought into this and so should you.
When you talk to your spouse about the divorce, be prepared to offer solutions to the problems you are aware of, ask what you have missed, and then acknowledge that you may be at least partially at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. If you find your spouse complaining about little things, like you leaving dishes in the sink, laundry on the floor, or the gas tank empty ask what that means to them. There is a larger issue behind these complaints. A man does not divorce his wife because she rarely puts gas in the car and a woman does not divorce her husband because he rarely puts his dishes in the dishwasher. However, if one is leaving his dishes for his wife to clean up or her gas tank empty for her husband to fill, the message to a spouse might be “you are just not important enough to me” to spend a few minutes on a task so that you do not have to spend the time doing it.
At the end of the day, if you are not the one who filed for the divorce, there is no way to stop the divorce proceedings in Indiana unless you can convince your spouse to stay in the marriage. While this may sound like a daunting task, it might not be all that difficult. Married couples become so comfortable with one another that they begin to treat strangers better than they do each other. They say things to one another that they never would have said in the beginning of the relationship. They forget their manners and stop being polite. They become unforgiving. And they stop doing nice things for each other. So, take a few minutes each day to remember why you fell in love with your spouse and imagine what your life would be like without them. Then start behaving as if you will be living without them very soon.
This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. It is for general educational purposes. The blog is not intended to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. The blog is not legal advice. This is an advertisement.