How Long Does a Divorce Take In California?

How Long Does a Divorce Take In California

The average timeline for most no-fault divorces in California is about 15 months. There is a mandatory 6-months waiting period after the petitioner files a Complaint. For fault divorces, the timeline varies depending on the complexity of the case and can be anywhere between 6 months and several years. 

By no means you can get your marriage finalized earlier than half a year after filing. There is no possibility to get a California divorce waiting period waiver. If you want to get your relationships regulated officially due to safety reasons before time, the only solution is to appeal for restraining orders.  

It is evident that every person seeks a fast marriage dissolution to move forward and create a new happy life soon. Explore the peculiarities of the divorce process in California and estimate the possible timeline for your case.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in California 

There is no fixed duration of a divorce process in California. Every situation is unique and requires a special approach to be finalized so it lasts differently. The key point is that your divorce may come to the end as fast as you want it to. This implies that the more effort you invest, the quicker your case will come to the end. 

The only restraining time point for California marriage termination is a mandatory waiting period of half a year. After filing for a divorce in California, and serving your spouse, you have to wait for at least 180 days before you can get your divorce decree and become officially divorced. 

It doesn’t mean that you have to sit and wait for half a year. Instead, it is the perfect period to get your marital issues settled and an agreement reached so that when the time comes, the judge may grant you divorce without hesitation. Otherwise, you will prolong your marriage termination process until you meet a compromise with your partner or the case is dealt with during the trials in court. This all only adds to your divorce process termination and delays the final point more and more.  

As a result, an average marriage termination at the Gold Coast will last around one and half years but may take more than two years as more complications and disagreements arise. Yet, your divorce will be never shorter than 6 months with the waiting period in mind.

How Long Does a Divorce Case Stay Open in California 

According to the typical divorce timeline in California, your marriage termination is expected to proceed in the following way: 

  • you collect the necessary papers and file for divorce; 
  • you serve your spouse to announce your intentions officially; 
  • your partner has 30 days to grant an official response; 
  • from that very same day when the response is delivered your waiting period of six months starts; 
  • you can use the waiting period to settle an agreement on major divorce issues; 
  • once the waiting period is over and you have a divorce agreement with your spouse, your marriage termination may come to an end. 

In other cases, the divorce process will last as long as you need to find the best possible solution for your marital and divorce issues with or without the help of your spouse and family law attorneys.  

Mind that every other argument between you and your spouse will only increase the duration of the process. For example, having children and struggling to find the best solution adds about 7 months to your divorce time. Participating in trials on property, children and other issues will add another 7 months to your case on average. Plus, you should consider that even if you wish to meet in court, there are no guarantees that the local court is ready to welcome you here and now. You may wait several weeks to fit in the court calendar.

When Is a Divorce Final in California 

If you manage to cope with all your disputes within six months of the waiting period, then you will be a happy one finalizing a divorce in California in just half a year. Your attorney will get your Settlement Agreement and other docs ready and hand them to court to get approved. When the approval is passed, you are finally divorced. 

Another good way out is to apply for a quickie (a simple and fast divorce in California). It is officially named Summary Dissolution and has special requirements to appeal for it. The couple has to be married at least for five years, have no major debts and assets, apply for no spousal support ever, and more. If you qualify, you will manage to get your marriage to the end with the help of a simplified procedure and within six months of the waiting time without any hurdles.  

A divorce is a physical and mental burden, so every divorcee wishes to get the process final as soon as possible. You can get divorced in California not earlier than six months after your spouse’s response. Yet this is only possible if you have dealt with main divorce points and have a Settlement Agreement ready. You can also opt for Summary Dissolution but you have to meet the requirements of this quick divorce option first. In all other more complicated cases prepare to participate in about a one-and-a-half-year-long procedure. Commit to your divorce process, be open to cooperation, hire a good attorney, and you will manage to terminate your marriage as soon as the local legislature allows you.  

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