Divorce is an ancient institution, most often seen as a problem by society. As time goes on, however, divorce becomes more frequent and consequently more problematic. The ease of divorce allows people to leave their spouse without consequence, leading to the other spouse losing their source of income and lacking education.
The reasons for divorce vary from person to person. While on paper, a marriage is dissolved once a judge signs off on the paperwork, the effects of the decision may have more implications on both parties than initially thought. This can be avoided by slowing down and thinking about what you want.
If a court rejects your divorce, it will allow you time to have a second shot at making things right with your spouse if that’s what you still desire after being presented with all the information regarding why it wouldn’t be as easily dissolved. In addition, judicial separation allows couples to live apart while maintaining financial stability, often beneficial during family law proceedings such as child custody cases handled by a child visitation lawyer where finances play a large role. The following article discusses several things that can get your case rejected and what happens when the court rejects a divorce.
Reasons Your Divorce Petition May Be Rejected by The Court?
If your divorce petition contains details inconsistent with what you presented before, it will be rejected. For example, if in the previous petition you indicated that there was discord between you and your spouse, but now you allege cruelty as a reason for separation, then the judge might think that this is another trick of yours to prolong litigation. If not explained properly, lies or inconsistencies can destroy your chance of getting a divorce decree. Your testimony must be consistent throughout the trial; otherwise, all efforts will go down the drain.
Another reason why you might not be granted a divorce decree is because of your fault. There’s no relief if your spouse can prove that you are at fault for the breakup. The court will only grant a divorce if both parties are deemed innocent or blameless; willful conduct or infidelity on your part cannot be used as the basis for the dissolution of marriage.
The requirement of six-month reconciliation is another reason why you might be rejected. If both parties are willing to reconcile and try to save their marriage, you have only three months to receive your petition for restitution of conjugal rights. After six months, you can go back to court if efforts fail to bring about reconciliation.
Having looked at the various reasons why a court of law can reject a divorce, here are various things that can happen when your divorce gets rejected by law:
You Can File for A Legal Separation
When your case gets rejected, you can file for a legal separation. This requires an additional filing fee in most states. Legal separations are not recognized in all states either. So, you should check with local guidelines before moving forward with this option. If you do not intend to reconcile with your spouse, it is fine to get a legal separation instead of divorce. When filing for legal separation, the date of marriage and date of separation would remain the same as stated on the original petition or complaint forms initially filed with the court. You may want to seek the opinions of divorce lawyers on whether getting a legal separation is beneficial over just having it set aside and refiling for a divorce.
You Can File an Appeal Against the Rejection
If the court rejects the divorce, you can file an appeal against the rejection. The highest jurisdiction is the Court of Appeals, where representative justices who are full-time judges decide your appeal. However, it would help if you were careful about the grounds on which you base your case. For instance, if the grounds for applying were fraud or adultery, yet there was no evidence proving it, it would be easy for the other party to convince the appellate judge why they should not grant your appeal for divorce. Also, make sure that all necessary documents are present; hence, filing an incomplete appeal will automatically result in a rejection of your file. According to rules and regulations, any document(s) that should be attached but is not will be deemed incomplete and returned to the sender.
After the appellate judge reviews all available evidence, they judge whether or not to grant your appeal. If the judge gets convinced enough that you are telling the truth, they make an order of divorce which the county clerk’s office will register after it gets stamped by the Territorial Court Clerk. Once this is done, you have successfully gotten your rejected divorce approved and finalized.
It is not advisable to file for divorce without considering the process and procedures because it will be an uphill task. Sometimes, you may get frustrated when your divorce gets rejected by the court and again approved after appealing. Always try and consult a family law firm before filing an appeal to get clarity on your case; this way, you can present all the necessary evidence that will help build a strong case for your divorce. It is suggested that you use both remedies simultaneously, like asking for an annulment while waiting to determine whether or not there is proof of adultery. Lastly, if your spouse does not want to care about anything, i.e., consenting or objecting to your petition, they can write a letter saying they do not care about the divorce or file a response.
Your Lawyer’s Fees Will Be Paid if the Court Rejects Your Petition
The court will pay your lawyer’s fees for representing you, including any deposit paid to start proceedings if your spouse withdraws their divorce petition. However, that is not to say your lawyer will not give you a bill for their services. They are entitled to charge you reasonable fees if the case has finished. If the case has not finished, they won’t be able to charge you anything.
Suppose the court dismisses your spouse’s petition because it does not satisfy certain legal requirements. In that case, the court must order the respondent to pay your lawyer’s fees for representing you in connection with that dismissal. In some states, the court may have made this an automatic, statutory award when a frivolous petition was filed and later dismissed.
In addition, if a party dismisses their divorce petition before a final hearing on all of the issues in divorce, including child custody and support, alimony, and property division, then that party will have to pay reasonable attorney fees incurred by the other party in responding to that petition. This includes any fees paid before the filing of the petition.
You are forced to pay all of your solicitor’s costs upfront before you even file the petition, which gets refunded back to you – minus their already-earned fees, of course (which can be extensive). The only way around this fee refund is if you’re in a state where the filing fees will be returned in full to both parties, but that’s rare and few and far between.
The Law Still Consider the Couple Legally Married
The other thing when your divorce gets rejected by a court is that you are still considered legally married until the finalization date, which can be anywhere from 6 months to 5 years after filing, depending on where you live. This does not mean that you cannot remarry someone else during the time between when your initial petition is denied and when your divorce becomes finalized. However, if you do, it will be considered bigamy since you are technically still married to your former spouse. You must provide proof for a judge to officially declare null and void, meaning that no fault was found as to why the divorce was filed. It must be proven that one or both parties suffered from gross neglect or proof of adultery. If you were not married long enough to receive a no-fault divorce, you would have to provide proof of irreconcilable differences which means that the marriage has deteriorated and cannot be salvaged. Once this type of divorce is finalized, the parties are released from responsibilities such as child support or alimony.
The separation of assets should be based on a 50/50 split using an equitable distribution method to determine what each party deserves. Before marriage, property that both parties own remains separate property unless it can be proven that it was acquired during the marriage, which usually leads to a filed gift tax return. The jointly owned property will remain separate if one party proves that it was purchased with their income only. In some cases, one spouse may receive more than half ownership to retain their essential survival tools. These include vehicles, real estate, or any property they live on.
Negotiations Can Take Place in the Best Interest of Both Parties
A divorce negotiation is difficult for any couple, no matter how amicable they are. However, things can get even more complicated when there’s a disagreement between the two parties over custody or property division. If you have tried to negotiate with your spouse only to come up empty-handed, hiring the best divorce attorney will help your case. Here are some reasons why:
Lawyers know what needs to be documented. At this point, it should be clear that negotiations go much smoother if both people hire lawyers to represent them. When using legal counsel, divorcing couples must make sure all agreements are properly documented, so there are no misunderstandings later on. If you can negotiate your divorce case settlement, hire a lawyer who can help you create an air-tight agreement if someone tries to invalidate it.
Attorneys know where to push. If one party or both parties are difficult during negotiations, then having legal representation will help the other spouse apply pressure and hold firm on certain points. Without a lawyer by their side, an individual can lose sight of what needs to be taken care of while going back and forth with their ex-spouse about living arrangements and visitation schedules. This can lead to further disagreements over child support payments and other financial issues.
Lawyers know what doesn’t matter. Many people get bogged down by minutiae when it comes to negotiation, but hiring an attorney will help your case if you are willing to let them take care of the smaller issues. For instance, some couples get hung up trying to find an exact formula for child support payments, mandatory to child custody law. An experienced lawyer can explain that this is unnecessary during negotiations because alternative methods are just as effective.
Attorneys have access to legal paperwork. If you haven’t dealt with the legal system much before, you’re unaware of all the red tape involved in being a divorcee in court. While you may be able to file all the necessary paperwork, having a lawyer familiar with the system can help your case immensely by making sure everything is filled out correctly.
Lawyers know how to negotiate. This reason should be self-explanatory since that’s why you are hiring legal counsel anyway. Divorce isn’t just about compromising on financial issues and custody agreements – your future lifestyle will also be at stake during negotiations. If you’re not proficient in using legal jargon, consulting with an attorney might help you get what you want instead of being bullied into someone else’s demands.
No matter where you are in the divorce process, seeking family legal advise will help you after your case has been rejected. While some people might be able to get by without a lawyer, it’s best to have one on hand if something unexpected happens.
Requesting a divorce is not an easy task, and some people find it difficult, but this does not mean that you should give up on your request as soon as it is rejected by the court once or twice. The rejection of such petitions means the judges feel more confident about allowing the petition at later stages, which indicates you can get divorced if you keep fighting for what you want and need from your relationship with your spouse.