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What If You Want to Reconcile Your Marriage, but Divorce Has Been Finalized?

Going through a divorce is difficult for everyone. Even if you end things amicably, it’s still a long, emotionally draining process. You’re losing something important to you, and it’s okay to grieve that loss.

In some cases, divorce seems like the only option. Other times, you might file for divorce because you don’t see a “better” way, but you might deal with some nagging feelings throughout the process that cause you to second-guess yourself. 

If that’s the case for both you and your former spouse, reconciliation is possible. 

It’s obviously easier to reconcile before the divorce is finalized. Even if you’ve already filed papers, you can halt the process and try to work things out. 

But what if you want to reconcile your marriage after your divorce has already been finalized? 

Understand the Legalities

Realistically, there’s not much you can do from a legal standpoint once your divorce has been finalized. Most counties throughout the U.S. have either “reconciliation periods” or a window of time during the divorce process meant to give you and your spouse time to decide if it’s what you really want to do. 

If you choose not to reconcile at that time and the divorce process continues to move forward, it will likely get finalized. You’ll either reach an agreement together, or you’ll attend a trial or hearing where a judge will determine things for you.

Unfortunately, a finalized divorce can’t be terminated or reversed. You won’t be able to go back to court and “get rid of” your divorce when you change your mind. 

Take Things Slowly

The legal system aside, you don’t have to have a piece of paper to determine that you want to get back together with your spouse. Even if your divorce is finalized, you can choose to reconcile at any time. 

However, it’s a good rule of thumb to take things slowly. Even if you’re having second thoughts now, you got divorced for a reason. Something wasn’t working within your marriage last time. So, expecting to have different results with the same approach isn’t going to be helpful for either of you.

Both you and your partner have to be willing to enter back into the relationship at a healthy pace. You also have to understand what caused your divorce last time, so you can both commit to doing things differently now. 

Choose Open Communication

One of the biggest issues couples often face when they’re going through marital struggles is communication. It’s essentially the cornerstone of every healthy relationship. 

So, if you’re deciding to reconcile, it needs to be prioritized. 

Open communication focuses on vulnerability, active listening, and honesty. You have to be willing to provide all of those things if you want to form a relationship that’s closer and stronger than before. 

Take Care of Yourself

Reconciliation isn’t always a walk in the park. Even if you’re sure it’s something you want to do, there are days that will be harder than others, especially if your divorce is finalized. The first time you get into an argument, you might be reminded of why you divorced, and there’s nothing “legally” tying you together. 

Don’t let those moments throw you. Instead, put your focus and energy into taking care of yourself mentally and physically. Prioritize sleep, healthy eating, and exercise. Practice mindfulness. Meditate. Write in a journal. 

Self-care can make it easier to go through the reconciliation journey, even if that means dealing with the ups and downs that come with it. 

A finalized divorce doesn’t mean you can’t ever reconcile with your spouse. While you can’t “take back” what’s been done, you can look at it as a fresh start and a renewed relationship. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about relationship counseling or couples therapy.