Please type more than three letters in your search query

What If I Change My Mind Once Divorce Starts?

high profile divorce


The recent developments in the marriage of Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll offer valuable insights into the dynamics of reconciliation after a divorce has been initiated. Their decision to call off their divorce and work on their relationship highlights several key aspects that are crucial for couples navigating similar challenges.

The age-old adage ‘marry in haste, repent at leisure’ warns against rushing into marriage without thorough consideration, often leading to regret over time. This concept can be aptly flipped to ‘divorce in haste, repent at leisure,’ particularly in the context of McIlroy and Stoll. This encapsulates the potential regret and complications that can arise from making impulsive decisions about ending a marriage. The journey of McIlroy and Stoll highlights the importance of taking time to reflect, communicate, seek professional support before finalising a divorce, while also advocating for a more measured and thoughtful approach to marital issues.

Background and Legal Context

Rory McIlroy, an internationally renowned golfer, and Erica Stoll, his wife, faced a highly publicised marital crisis earlier this year. After seven years of marriage, McIlroy filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences and describing their marriage as ‘irretrievably broken.’ The timing of the filing, just before the PGA Championship, added to the public interest and scrutiny surrounding their relationship.

A no-fault divorce comes into play here. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act (‘The Act’) 2020 came into force on 6 April 2022, which worked to replace the previous ‘five grounds’ and instead allow couples to divorce without assigning fault. Instead, the marriage can be ended on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown, which simplifies the legal process and reduces the emotional strain on both parties. This approach is designed the remove the blame factor in the divorce process, making it as amicable as it can be. The Act also worked to remove the possibility of contesting the divorce, along with introducing an option for a joint application.

In high-profile cases such as this, prenuptial agreements often play a crucial role. McIlroy and Stoll had such an agreement, which would have facilitated a clearer and less contentious division of assets had their divorce proceeded. Prenuptial agreements are instrumental in protecting individual assets and ensuring that the financial aspects of a separation are managed with minimal conflict.

What about the children?

For any family going through a divorce, the well-being of children is paramount. McIlroy and Stoll have a younger daughter, and if their divorce would have continued, they would have had to have detailed discussions regarding child arrangements. Ensuring that the child’s needs are prioritised can help mitigate the emotional impact of the separation. Open communication and, where possible, amicable arrangements between parents can support a child’s adjustment to new family dynamics.

The Path to Reconciliation

Despite the initial move towards divorce, McIlroy and Stoll chose to reconcile. This decision highlights several important factors that can facilitate reconciliation:

  • Open Communication: this is essential for addressing underlying issues. Couples must be willing to discuss their grievances and listen to each other’s perspectives.
  • Counselling and Mediation: Professional counselling can provide a neutral space for couples to explore their issues with the guidance of a trained therapist. Mediation can also assist in resolving specific disputes amicably.
  • Mutual Commitment: Both parties need to be committed to making the relationship work. This involves setting aside time to reconnect, understanding each other’s needs, and making necessary compromises.
  • Legal Adjustments: Calling off a divorce requires certain legal formalities. As family solicitors, our role is to ensure that any petitions for divorce are withdrawn correctly and that both parties understand the implications of their decision. This might also involve revisiting and possibly revising prenuptial agreements to reflect the current state of their relationship.

Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll’s decision to reconcile after initiating divorce proceedings offers several important pointers for all couples. Their experience highlights the value of open communication, professional support, legal flexibility through no-fault divorce, and a mutual commitment to resolving marital issues.

For us as family solicitors, their case serves as a reminder of the importance of advocating for solutions that reduce conflict and support the well-being of all parties involved. The principles demonstrated in their reconciliation can guide our practice and help us provide better support to couples navigating the complexities of divorce and reconciliation.

Contact us

If you are facing marital challenges or considering divorce, we are here to help you explore your options and make the best decision for your future. Our experienced team of family solicitors are dedicated to providing the support and expertise you need during these difficult times. Together, we can help you navigate the complexities of family law with compassion, clarity, and professionalism.

For specialist advice on any family law related issue contact Maguire Family Law by email: or telephone:

Contact Us