People generally see the cancellation of a divorce as a good thing. When people decide to give their relationships a second chance, friends and families may react with hope and encouragement. Calling off a divorce may be seen as especially positive if there are children involved. However, it is important to keep financial implications in mind when couples call off their divorces. These implications may be subtle and far-reaching. 

Rory McIlroy Calls Off Divorce

People call off their divorces all the time. In June of 2024, professional golfer Rory McIlroy decided to give his relationship a second chance, canceling the divorce he had planned with his wife, Erica Stoll. Previously, reports indicated that he had signed his divorce papers while participating in the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina. This obviously did not affect his game since he won the championship in May. 

What Happens When Spouses Call Off Their Divorces?

If spouses decide to call off their divorces, they can end the legal process relatively easily. Even if they have already signed the divorce papers, the only real requirement is that they withdraw their divorce petition. They might also sign a voluntary dismissal. Things become a little more complex and challenging if spouses have already signed their divorce agreement through private negotiations. Whatever the case may be, it is important to understand that a divorce is not final until a judge signs off on it. Until that moment, there are many ways to call off a divorce. If a judge has already formally dissolved the marriage, spouses may need to re-marry. 

A Cancelled Divorce Often Leads to a Postnuptial Agreement

Despite reconciling, many spouses who cancel their divorces agree that the relationship is on relatively thin ice. It might only take one more major dispute to end the marriage. Due to these tentative circumstances, many spouses decide to create postnuptial agreements while giving their relationship one last chance. This is an attractive option because of the likelihood of further disputes and eventual divorce. Although a postnuptial is not as effective as a prenuptial agreement, it can provide spouses with greater confidence as they try again. A postnuptial agreement may also describe financial penalties for specific misconduct, such as infidelity. 

Reconciliation Resets the Separation Period

Reconciliation may also reset the separation period associated with a divorce. For many states, this separation period is relatively low or non-existent. For other states, such as North Carolina, this separation period can last up to a year. Spouses who reconcile must think carefully about the potential for future disputes. If spouses reconcile and then decide to divorce a second time, they may face another year of waiting before moving forward once again. 

Reconciliation Can Create New Separate Assets

Finally, reconciliation can cause all kinds of issues regarding separate assets. If spouses reconcile, there may be considerable debate over whether assets acquired after the date of separation should be separate. Normally, all assets acquired after the date of separation are separate, but some courts could retroactively consider this period as part of the marriage if spouses reconcile. Acquisitions during longer periods of separation may have a higher chance of becoming separate assets.