Dismissal means a court action that closes a case without a person obtaining a divorce. A motion to dismiss is when a party to a case asks the judge to close the case. The term dismissal is widely used within the legal field. It generally means that a case has prematurely ended. If criminal charges are dropped in a criminal case, the case is dismissed. In a civil suit, if a case is dismissed it means the plaintiff didn’t get the damages that they sought. In divorce cases, when a divorce case is dismissed it means that you stay married to your current spouse. When a case is dismissed in a child custody case, it means that any changes sought to a custody arrangement is effectively denied. The same is true for child support cases, third-party cases or any other type of family law case.
The petitioner or respondent in a divorce case files a written request to dismiss the case. The person requesting the case dismissal files their request with the court by placing the request on the court’s motion calendar. Once the court grants the motion to dismiss the divorce case, the divorce process is immediately stopped and the parties stay married.
In some cases, the court will enter their own dismissal order in your divorce case. This can happen if there hasn’t been any activity in a divorce case for a long period of time. The reason is that the court dockets are often overloaded so if the court notices that no one has done anything for a long period of time, the court may decide you really weren’t serious about wanting a divorce. When this happens and you act quick enough, you might be about to get the court to reconsider; however, usually this means that you must file a brand new petition.
Practically speaking, no you cannot. If your spouse does not agree, you cannot dismiss a case in Texas if your divorce is a no-fault divorce. In cases where the petitioner has filed a fault-based divorce, usually, only the petitioner can get the case dismissed.
If you are considering a dismissal action in your divorce case, be sure that this is what you actually want. Dismissing your divorce case means you stay married. If this isn’t what you actually want to happen, you should consider getting expert legal advice before you proceed. Call 214-915-2205 to schedule a consultation today.