A client recently came into the office with a unique situation. They wanted to dismiss a divorce in California that has been filed March 3, 2012. All of the documents in the case were completed, including the processing of a Final Judgment of Dissolution on April 26, 2012.
Can you dismiss a divorce in California After Entry of Final Judgment?
In California, a Divorce Judgment can be issued long before the effective “termination date of the marriage.” In California divorces, the termination date is calculated 6 months PLUS 1 day from the date the other party was served the Petition. Although in many situations a California divorce case can be completed within a few months from the date the Petition was filed, neither party can remarry prior to the 6 month+1 day termination date, even though a Judgment may have already been entered. The termination date is always specifically identified on the Judgment. Basically, once that day passes, no further documentation is sent by the court, but the parties are now free to remarry. In my client’s situation, the Judgment was entered April 26, 2012, with a termination date of marriage of October 4, 2012.
Client files to dismiss a divorce in California
On July 11, 2012, the parties reconciled and filed a Request for Dismissal of Entire Action Without Prejudice.
The question is – are the parties divorced, or are they still married?
Because the Dismissal of the action was filed BEFORE the effective termination date of the marriage, it would seem as though the parties are, in fact, still married. In this particular case, unfortunately the client has obtained two different opinions from two different attorneys. One attorney says they are still married and another attorney says they are not. Although I am not an attorney, I agree with the attorney that says they are still married. The sequence of events clearly show that the dismissal was effective months before the date the marriage was supposed to end pursuant to the previously entered Judgment. What do you think?
If you are seeking to dismiss a divorce in California after the effective termination date of the marriage, you may want to seek the advice of an attorney to see if that is possible. It may not be and you may need to remarry your former spouse if you want to be husband and wife again.
Once you know whether your divorce can be dismissed, however, A People’s Choice can help you prepare the necessary paperwork and file it with the court.