At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles divorce attorneys know that once spouses have settled on dissolving their marriages, the process seemingly cannot happen fast enough.
Starting over takes courage, and when the time comes, delays can stall the momentum both spouses have summoned to make their new lives their own.
While every California divorce is unique and will follow a timeline based on its complexity, there is a mandatory six-month waiting period for divorcing couples throughout the state.
Here is what you need to know about the timing of divorces in California.
California Has Residency Requirements When Filing for Divorce
If you would like to file for divorce in California, you must meet the residency requirements first, or the timeline will be extended.
California law requires at least one spouse to be a California resident for at least six months before filing for a divorce, and a resident of the county in which they file for a minimum of three months.
When Does the Six-Month Clock Begin?
Since California is a no-fault divorce state, neither spouse must prove the other’s behavior was detrimental to the marriage, which can save some time.
Once the divorce papers are filed, and proceedings can begin, the six-month clock begins after the date of service of a copy of the summons and petition or the date of appearance of the respondent, whichever occurs first.
Will the Type of California Divorce Increase the Time it Takes to Finalize the Paperwork?
In short, the answer is yes.
If you and your spouse can agree on significant details of the divorce, including property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support, the timeline will move much quicker than it would during a contested divorce.
California allows provisions for temporary orders, which let both parties make decisions and arrangements concerning their divorce, instead of waiting for the courts to decide for them.
This will allow divorcing spouses to finalize the details of their dissolution, so once the waiting period is up, they can finalize the agreement without delay.
If a divorce is contested which means neither spouse can agree on the important details of their dissolution it may take longer than the six-month waiting period to work through their disagreements.
Spouses embroiled in a contested divorce should partner with a skilled family law attorney as soon as possible, so they know their legal rights and options to expedite the process either through mediation, collaborative divorce, or, when it is necessary, to proceed with litigation.
Contact Our Los Angeles Divorce Attorneys at the Land Legal Group Today
If you are pursuing a divorce in California and have questions about how long the process will last, so you can move forward, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles County at the Land Legal Group today at 310-552-3500 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique needs.