- March 8, 2021
- By Ruth Oyelakin
- 0 comments
Can I withdraw my divorce petition?
Filing a petition for divorce is not an easy decision to make. You may have contemplated this for a significant period of time, possibly over a number of years, before doing so. Whilst we eagerly anticipate the arrival of ‘no fault divorce’, which is expected to come into force in Autumn 2021, the fault based system currently remains in place. Relying on Unreasonable Behaviour, as one of the five facts that the petition can be based upon, you are faced with the arduous task of having to list reasons as to why the marriage has irretrievably broken down in order to justify the petition. Once the petition has been filed and the fee paid, the petition must then served on the respondent who will review the petition and acknowledge service before being able to progress further. It is often at this point that the reality of divorce starts to sink in. This can occasionally lead to a change of heart and sometimes reconciliation.
Withdrawing before service
Section 7.9 of the Family Procedure Rules (FPR 2010) SI 2010/2955, provides that an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order may be withdrawn at any time before it has been served by giving notice in writing to the court where the proceedings were started.
If a petition is simply abandoned and not withdrawn, it will remain on the court file and a further petition may not be filed by the same petitioner without the leave of the court.
It is important to note that you cannot make more than one application for a matrimonial order in respect of the same marriage unless the first petition has been dismissed or finally determined or where the court gives you permission to do so. In essence, a further application cannot be filed by the same petitioner without the leave of the court. It is there important to ensure that you obtain written confirmation from the court if you do withdraw your petition prior to service.
Withdrawing after service
Where the petition has been served an application must be made to the court seeking for the petition to be dismissed. The application should be made in Form D11 which must be signed and must include the case reference, parties names, addresses for service and either a request for a hearing or a request that the application be dealt with on paper. Divorce is generally a paper based process, largely completed online now, and it is therefore advisable to seek that the application be considered on paper without the need for a hearing.
Where the petition has been acknowledged by the respondent and you have perhaps reconciled and decided not to proceed any further, then the petition can be withdrawn by agreement. Again, the application should be made in Form D11 asking the court to dismiss the petition accompanied by a consent order signed by both parties. Should you wish to withdraw the petition after pronouncement of Decree Nisi then the application should also seek to rescind the decree in as well as dismiss the petition.
Once your Decree Absolute has been granted you are no longer able to withdraw your divorce petition.
If you are contemplating withdrawing your divorce petition, please do contact us directly to arrange an appointment.
*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*
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