We get a lot of calls where people tell us that they filed for divorce years ago and never finished it. They assume that because the case is old that it has been dismissed and no longer an active case.
What we find is that this is usually not true. When people tell us that they filed years ago and did not complete it the first thing we do it try to locate the old case. The person who called us the other day happened to have his old divorce case number so it was easy to look up and his 1996 was still active.
Why is this important? Because if you decide to file a new case you will have to pay the court fees again. If we locate your old active case then we can still use that case number and just file an amended divorce petition and you won’t have to pay any new court fees.
I can tell you that this new client of ours was so happy that we did this for him and save him $435 in court fees.
The courts are supposed to dismiss any cases after sitting inactive for 5 years. But we seldom see this done. In fact we found an old divorce case that was 20 years old. So old that they didn’t have computers and we had to go look at the green ledgers where they entered information manually by hand.
It was interesting to see what the divorce paperwork looked like 20 years ago. That client was also happy, although in her case she thought she was already divorced 20 years ago only to learn that her divorce never finalized when you went to get married again.