Couples who are about to get divorced may feel like the world is crashing down around them, especially if the separation is high-conflict or if children are involved. For this or other reasons, they may want to withdraw the divorce petition.
In Washington State, and in many other states, it’s possible to stop a divorce action provided that both parties agree to the dismissal. It’s certainly not unusual for a couple to file for a dissolution of marriage and withdraw a dissolution petition later on.
Certain celebrity couples have recoupled after uncoupling. And we are here to tell you all about the shockingly relatable reasons behind their decision to withdraw their divorce petition.
The coronavirus saved their marriage
Aside from ravaging world economies and wreaking havoc globally, the coronavirus also ruined relationships. It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic strained relationships and destroyed marriages as couples found plenty to argue about while on lockdown, whether it’s about child-rearing, finances, or relationship stress.
Related reading: Should you file for divorce in Washington state amid a pandemic?
The last thing anyone expected the coronavirus would do is to become the reason a couple stays together. So although being locked up at home was the cause for some relationships to crumble, for singer Ne-Yo and his wife Crystal Williams, it was the other way around.
In February 2020, Ne-Yo announced on a podcast that they’ve decided to get a divorce. Nine months later, he revealed at a talk show that they had reconciled. It was unclear whether they’d even talked to a divorce lawyer or a mediator before ultimately deciding to make the marriage work. But Ne-Yo was certain as to what to credit for their reconciliation: the pandemic and the “brutally honest conversations” they’d had while on lockdown.
If only these couples knew that having brutally honest conversations was an option.
From growing apart to never apart
Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jennie Garth and husband Dave Abrams had a whirlwind romance. They started dating in 2014 and were married within months. To be fair, the short period they were dating was still longer than some people stayed married. In any case, Garth admitted that it was the fast pace of their relationship that ultimately hurt it.
In 2018, Abrams filed for divorce from Garth, which the latter only found out through TMZ. Finding out that you’ll be served divorce papers from the tabloids isn’t very nice indeed, and anyone who gets humiliated this way would normally not consider reconciling with their ex. But perhaps TMZ’s news/gossip gathering team was just fast.
So Garth and Abrams were separated for 10 months. During this period, Garth said she was embarrassed that she was going to be divorced again, after having gone through two failed marriages prior. Ten months spent apart apparently proved magical to the would-have-been exes.
Garth said, “We both had separate learning to do. And then coming back and sharing that growth was kind of the fiber that connected us back together like, ‘I see you differently now.’”
While trial separation doesn’t always work for many couples, a period of singlehood is just what the doctor ordered for Garth and Abrams.
Reconciling seemed like a good idea (until it wasn’t)
In 2016, the late Glee star Naya Rivera filed for divorce from her husband Ryan Dorsey, with whom she was married for three years. She withdrew the divorce petition in October 2017 because, presumably, they simply changed their mind. Then, in November of the same year, Rivera re-filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
Interestingly, the late actress was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery the day after she re-filed for divorce. The couple got into an altercation, presumably because their differences truly were irreconcilable.
When having a baby shower was a better idea than pushing through a divorce
Before Megan Fox and her rapper fiancé Machine Gun Kelly were terrorizing awards shows with their very odd and very public displays of affection, Fox was previously married to Jennie Garth’s Beverly Hills, 90210 co-star, Brian Austin Green.
They wed in 2010, had two babies since then, and were about to split in 2015 when Megan filed for divorce. But the notorious actress got pregnant, so she and her then-husband reconciled.
The third child ended up keeping the two together for at least five years. But in 2020, Megan re-filed for divorce and alas, there was no fourth baby to save the relationship. That baby could have saved its mother from being one-half of what is now known as one of Hollywood’s most cringe-worthy couples.
Can you file for a dissolution of marriage in Washington State but try to reconcile later on? What procedural requirements should you follow? Is romance dead? Get in touch with Washington State family law attorneys Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams to get answers to these questions (except the last one).