finalize divorce changed her mind

We Were About To Finalize a Divorce & She Changed Her Mind

Goldberg Jones Divorce Leave a Comment

People change their minds all the time. They make a decision only to reevaluate it later. What to eat for dinner, what movie to watch, the outfit for a wedding, which car to buy. We do this all the time. But what about divorce? Can your ex change her mind about a divorce?

In this instance, we’re not talking about the decision to end a marriage. But what if you come to an agreement on how to settle, only when it comes to finalizing the divorce, that’s where she changed her mind?

One of our founding partners, Rick Jones, has a regular guest spot on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show. On the air, he takes family law questions from listeners. During one recent episode, a listener had this very question.

Related Reading: You’ve Been Served Divorce Papers, Now What?

Listen to the Answer Below:

Caller: “My wife and I filed a petition for divorce back in December last year. We both agreed on the division of property, we signed together, we filed, and then once the 90 days were up, she refused to sign the paperwork to finalize the find of facts and dissolution papers.

“Since she already signed the initial papers and agreed to the divorce and now she’s changing her mind, what are my options?”

Rick: “A couple of things. The first thing I would say is that filing the initial papers doesn’t mean the agreement’s binding. That’s why Washington State has that 90-day waiting period. That’s why you couldn’t get it done in December when you filed. So, she has that right within the 90 days to back out.

“For her to back out though, out of that tentative agreement, there are some steps she needs to follow. For example, she would have needed to do what’s called a ‘response to the petition.’ That basically says to the court, He filed, and she needs to [respond]. If she hasn’t done that, you can do what’s called a ‘motion for default.’

“You can basically say, look, more than 90 days have elapsed, she’s obviously been served with the documents, therefore I’m asking for this case to be closed on the terms of our original petition.

“The problem with that is that it’s kind of like a tennis match. Yes, you do that motion, but she’s going to respond and say, ‘No wait I’m here.’ The courts are going to be very liberal about giving somebody their opportunity to have a day in court.

“Unfortunately, you thought you had an agreement in December. You’re really like most everybody else in which you’ve got a divorce filed, now you need to reach an agreement with her.”

Related Reading: Preparing for a Divorce Consultation

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