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Does reconciliation ever occur after spouses file for divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | Divorce

Filing for divorce has a feeling of finality about it. Someone who has been frustrated or unsatisfied with their relationship for years may feel empowered when they finally take a step toward changing that situation. People often treat filing for divorce as though it were the last step in exiting an unhappy marriage.

However, filing for divorce does not instantly terminate the marriage. It is merely the beginning of the end. In fact, some people who file for divorce do not actually follow through with the process and might ultimately remain married.

What is the likelihood of spouses reconciling after one of them files for divorce?

Reconciliation is rare but does occur

A small but noteworthy number of people do not finalize a divorce even after they begin the process with the North Carolina family courts. Overall, a small percentage of those who separate reunite and do not divorce. Between 10 and 15% of those planning to divorce do not follow through even though someone may have filed paperwork with the courts.

After divorce, the chances of reconciliation go down even more. Roughly 6% of divorced couples decide to marry again after ending a marriage. Approximately 1 in 20 couples who choose to file for divorce may eventually remarry if they improve their circumstances or their relationships.

Even when someone files for divorce with every intention of following through, they possibly have many months of negotiation or litigation ahead before their divorce is actually complete. They must continue to press forward with the process and may require support to manage it.

After filing the initial paperwork, someone planning to divorce still needs to take multiple other steps. They must negotiate agreements or prepare to litigate in family court. It can take anywhere from 30 days to more than a year for someone to officially divorce in North Carolina. Failing to take certain steps might mean that people have to begin part of the process over again or put them at a disadvantage in court.

Taking the legal and necessary steps

Fully committing to the divorce process generally requires an understanding that there are still many more steps to take before a marriage ends. Those concerned about the finality of divorce may benefit from discussing the legal separation process with an attorney who can provide the necessary guidance and support.