Any case can be dismissed for want of prosecution if the case is not disposed of within the time standards of the law.
Texas Divorce Dismissed
So if there hasn’t been much activity on your divorce case months after you filed for divorce, you may get an order of dismissal for want of prosecution.
The order is simply the court telling you that your case could be dismissed because it is not progressing.
Receiving the order does not mean that your case will definitely be dismissed. You still have a chance to prove that the case is progressing.
The risk of you receiving an order of dismissal for want of prosecution is however diminished if there is a lot of action in the case.
What to do after receiving an order of dismissal for want of prosecution.
After the court sends you a DWOP because your case has been idle for a certain period of time, it will set up a hearing.
In this hearing, the court expects you to show that there has been activity in the case. You and the other party involved in the divorce will need to show up in court for the case.
If you do not respond to the order within the court’s deadline, your divorce case will be dismissed. Courts issue DWOP orders to try and clear out old cases that have been idle for months. However, in the divorce cases the court may also issue the order for the following reasons:
- The parties in the divorce and their lawyers missed a hearing
- The petitioner in the divorce did not issue divorce papers to the respondent
- The respondent never filed a waiver of service
- The parties missed several deadlines for things such as discovery and so on
Undoing a Dismissed Case
You will need to contact your lawyer to help you determine why the case was dismissed in the first place. Normally, the court gives you 30 days to file a motion to reinstate and will set up a hearing to allow you to state your reasons for why the court should grant your motion.
The court will only reinstate the case if you give sufficient reasons. If you do not file a motion to reinstate within 30 days and the case is closed, you will need to refile the case. This means paying additional fees to file the case.
Other Ways a Divorce can be Dismissed
Apart from DWOP, a divorce can be dismissed if the divorcing couple change their minds. The person who filed for divorce can simply withdraw the request if the other spouse did not respond to the petition. However, if the other party filed a response, both parties have to sign a withdrawal request at the courthouse.
Withdrawing the petition is not possible if the there has been a judgment entered in the case. The divorce can also be dismissed if improper filing procedures were used to file for the divorce. For example, if the petitioner files the case in the wrong country or state, the divorce petition can be dismissed.
Dismised For Want of Prosecution Child Support
Dismissed For Want of Prosecution Child Custody
Can Texas child support obligations be dismissed for want of prosecution?
Most likely not. You're typically not going to be able avoid child support by terminating your parental rights. There are very specific instances where a judge will let you terminate your parental rights. See our article here.
What is a DWOP hearing?
If your case is not progressing for one reason or another, then the court may schedule a DWOP hearing. it's a hearing where you must show that there has been activity on the case, otherwise the case will be dismissed.
How can I get my divorce case dismissed or dropped?
Other than a DWOP order, the divorcing couple can simply change their minds and the petitioner can withdraw the request. See above for more info.