One defense to a divorce is reconciliation. A fire extinguisher puts out a fire, and a reconciliation "extinguishes" a divorce case.
When used in divorce proceedings, the term reconciliation means to start living together again with the intent to remain married. Spouses can engage in sexual intercourse without the intent to resume their marriage. Sometimes, a spouse starts spending the night at home again, but does not return on a consistent basis. This might not be a reconciliation.
The Court decides reconciliation on a case-by-case basis. This means the Court will consider any actions taken by you and your spouse and the testimony to decide.
Refiling for Divorce After a Reconciliation
The cause of action for divorce is extinguished by reconciliation of the parties, and any future attempt at seeking a divorce must be done by filing another divorce petition.
Reconciliation May Impact Community Property
When two people marry in Louisiana, the law creates a relationship between them that impacts the ownership of their future property. Unless the spouses took action before their marriage to remain separate in property, most property either spouse acquires during the marriage is called "community property". The legal term for this relationship is "the community regime," sometimes shortened to "the community".
When a judgment of divorce is granted, the community ends. The Court terminates the community on the date of the judgment of divorce. However, the effect of the termination that occurs on the date of the judgment of divorce is retroactive, which means the termination is effective as of date that has already passed. In divorce proceedings, the effective date of the termination of community is the date that the petition for divorce was filed.
In situations where a previous divorce proceeding has been filed and abandoned, the filing date of that previous petition for divorce will no longer be the effective termination date. As a practical matter, the community continued because it was never terminated by a judgment of divorce. If a party refiles, the community will be terminated effective as of the date of the re-filed judgment of divorce.
This means that property acquired by either person after the filing date of the first divorce will legally be classified as community property, even if the spouses have not lived together since that time. It is important to understand that when a divorce proceeding is abandoned, it has the effect of resuming or continuing the community.