Will a divorce case automatically expire after 5 years or will a formal withdrawal be required? - Divorce Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Will a divorce case automatically expire after 5 years or will a formal withdrawal be required?

The petition was served on December 2011 and responded to within the 30 day window; however, the case has stalled. Thank you.

Answer By Steven Alpers

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Are you trying to reopen? If so serve and get it going. If you are reconciled, dismiss. It will probably help your credit.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2014

Law Offices of John F. Nicholson
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Sometimes they are automatically dismissed and sometimes not until one of the parties decides they want to finish the divorce, then the court dismisses it. If there are support orders the 5 years is tolled and you have more time to finish the case. You have couple years remaining of the 5 years which is plenty of time to finish the case.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2014


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If you want it dismissed you should file a dismissal. If not move it along.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2014

Answer By Barbara Peyton

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It is best to file a Request For Withdrawal if you want to be sure the case is inactivated. I have knowledge of at least one case which was still active after a 23 year hiatus in activity. Good luck.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2014

B. Stuart Walker Law Office
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Most courts will schedule a hearing for dismissal prior to the five year anniversary of the service of the petition. Unless one of the parties can show a valid reason for continuing the case - (e.g. there is a support order in place or a judgment has already been issued on the limited issue of ending the marriage.) the court will dismiss the case. If the court for some reason doesn't set this hearing - then one of the parties will have to bring a motion before the court to accomplish the same result. An easier way, if both parties are in agreement, is to simply file a request for dismissal with the court signed by both parties. This can be done at any time.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2014

Answer By Anne B. Howard

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If there is a response the case may not be automatically dismissed.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2014

Answer By Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
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Check with your local court clerk on the status. Because of the severe budget cuts with the court, a number of pleadings have been in suspense with no action by the court administrators.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/12/2014

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