Does divorce paperwork expire? 16 Answers as of January 10, 2014

We filed for divorce and went to court by never signed the final papers. It's been five years. Do we need to go back to court or can we just sign them now?

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Law Office of John G. Galasso | John George Galasso
If no final papers were ever filed, the case is normally dismissed and you have to start all over again.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 1/10/2014
Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
If the case is still pending, you could file final papers finalizing it. If the Court(as they sometimes do) dismissed the case for failure to prosecute, then you have to refile.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 1/8/2014
Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC
Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC | Annette M. Cox
The court will usually dismiss a case after 120 days for non-prosecution. You will need to refile.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 1/8/2014
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
You need to check with the court docket and local rules.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/8/2014
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
I would need the details, and to know what has been going on it the five years.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/8/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    The case has probably been dismissed so you will have to file again.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    J. Barbour Rixey, P.C.
    J. Barbour Rixey, P.C. | J. Barbour Rixey
    Yes the Court can on its own dismiss a divorce case if there has been no activity in the case for 2 years. I would suggest you go to the Clerks Office to review the Court file to see what has taken place.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Law Office of Brent R. Chipman
    Law Office of Brent R. Chipman | Brent R. Chipman
    The court may have dismissed your earlier filing based on inactivity. You should contact the court clerk to see if that is what happened. If the case was not dismissed, you should be able to submit the final paperwork to the court to complete the original action. If the case was dismissed, you will need to initiate another filing for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida
    Mediation Services of Southwest Florida | Dennis J. Leffert, J.D.
    I would suggest you call the Court, speak with the Clerk about your situation. She/he will be able to answer your question. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Diane l. Berger | Diane L. Berger
    I would assume the case was long ago dismissed for non-activity. That would mean you would have to start over.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    Check with the court clerk in your county to find out for sure. Sometimes civil cases are dismissed after five years but I don't think the same is true of divorce cases. If the two of you want to now proceed with the divorce, I think the old case can be re-opened. As I said, check with the court clerk in your county. Good luck
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    I cannot tell just from what you have said.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane | Lauren H. Kane
    You need to contact the court and find out the status of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    The Law Office of James P Peterson
    The Law Office of James P Peterson | James P Peterson
    It depends on whether or not the case was dismissed. It probably has been dismissed and you will have to refile. It is rare that the court will keep a case on the docket for five years if there is no activity.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 1/8/2014
    Catchick Law, PC
    Catchick Law, PC | Matt Catchick
    If you filed five years ago, the case has VERY likely been administratively dismissed by the Court for "lack of progress" - I would call the County Clerk to confirm 100%. Unfortunately, you will have to file a new Complaint for Divorce, and pay another filing fee, and start the case all over again.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/8/2014
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