How Long Will the California Divorce Process Take?
When you have decided that you no longer wish to be married, you likely want to get through the process of divorce as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life. Unfortunately, it takes several months to formally end your marriage in the state of California. The length of time that your divorce will take is also going to vary depending upon how complicated your divorce is and how willing you and your spouse are to compromise.
It is important to understand the California divorce process so you will know what to expect when you end your marriage. An experienced Irvine, CA divorce and family law professional at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP will assist you throughout every step of the process. Our experienced attorneys will also work to move your case forward so you can get your marriage dissolved as quickly as possible.
How Long Does the California Divorce Process Take?
The California divorce process can begin only after one of the two spouses has been a resident of the state for at least six months and a resident of the county where the divorce will take place for at least three months. The process begins when one of the two spouses officially files for divorce. The other spouse has up to 30 days to answer the petition for divorce, although he or she does not have to wait this long.
Once the petition has been answered, the California divorce process will move forward. If the couple can agree on all of the issues, such as child custody, spousal support, debt division and asset division, then the process will move much more quickly. The couple, with the help of their attorneys, can draft a divorce settlement and parenting plan that they present together to a judge and their negotiated settlement becomes the official terms of their divorce.
If the couple does not agree on the issues involved in their divorce, then the disputed matters have to be litigated and the process will take much longer. Each spouse will get to present evidence and arguments and, depending upon the complexity of the dispute, the case could take weeks or months to resolve.
Even when spouses agree on all matters in the divorce, there is a waiting period in California before your marriage is officially dissolved. At least a six month period of time must pass between the time that the divorce papers are served and the time that the marriage is officially ended.
Although the California divorce process can take much longer than the divorce process in other states because of the waiting period, California does allow you to bifurcate the divorce process. If six months have passed and you want to end your marriage but have not agreed on property and custody division, the court can dissolve your union but you will get to continue to litigate on the remaining issues involved in your divorce settlement.
An experienced Irvine, CA divorce and family law professional at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can assist in moving the California divorce process forward as quickly as possible. Call today to schedule a consultation if you have decided to end your marriage.