How Reconciliation Affects the Divorce Process

In the midst of divorce, reconciliation takes place for some couples. The process of divorce may make them realize that they would rather be together than apart. After a third-party, such as a family lawyer, has jumped in to help them work out some issues in order to process the paperwork, they rediscover the love and common ground they once had. Sometimes the reconciliation lasts, sometimes it doesn’t.

In the case of a reconciliation that appears to work, the divorce process can temporarily stop, which can be a good outcome. Assuming that the couple involved takes the steps to talk and perhaps get counseling to help them prevent the mistakes that led them to the attorney’s office in the first place, the second phase of love can be more amazing and enduring than the first.

What if Reconciliation does Not Work?

If reconciliation does not work, the attempt can put the divorce off track. Washington is a no-fault divorce state where the only grounds for divorce is irreconcilable differences; once the process is set in motion, it takes a minimum of 90 days to be resolved. If you are investigating a reconciliation, you should ask your lawyer to put a stop on the divorce proceedings of up to 90 days.

Before a divorce is granted, the court will consider if the marriage is irretrievably broken. If the court finds sign of hope, or if you indicate you are considering reconciliation, the court may refer you to a counseling service, await their report before making a decision, and postpone resolution for 60 days.

At the end of this time, the court will either dismiss or grant the petition for dissolution, depending on whether the reconciliation is successful.

Handling Reconciliation with Your Children

When children are involved, attempts at reconciliation can create hopes in children that may not materialize. If you or your spouse have talked against each other and then appeared to be reconciling, you open the door to confusion for your children. How should you handle possible reconciliation without setting your kids up for disappointment? Several approaches are available:

First, tell your children that you and the other parent are trying to rebuild your relationship, but clarify that you are not sure what is going to happen.
Reinforce to the child that both you and your spouse will continue to love them whether you are together or not.
Try to keep the children out of the whole process is much as possible. If you have come to the point of divorce, following through with a reconciliation is something only you can decide. People change, but if someone was a serial cheater, a drunk, or an abuser, deciding to stay is a complicated decision and your children should not be involved.
Until you have officially dropped the divorce proceedings and had your lawyer terminate your separation and child support agreements, both you and your spouse are obliged to live up to the agreement.

Are You Trying to Reconcile and Avoid Divorce?

Reconciliation is possible and it may save your family tremendous heartache. If you are already engaged in the divorce process, you need to find out about the implications of reconciliation during divorce. For a free consultation to discuss your case, contact the family law attorneys at Weintraub Law Offices.