How Long Does it Take to Finalize a Divorce in California?

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If you are considering getting a divorce in California, you will probably wonder how long it takes to get one. The state of California is not a quick divorce state. To put it briefly, the fastest you will be able to get a divorce is six months and one day.

Here is an overview of the process of divorce in the state.

Residency Requirements for Divorce

To qualify for a divorce in California, you must be a resident of California for at least six months. Additionally, you must be a resident of your county for at least three months before you apply for a divorce. You may still be able to qualify if your spouse is a resident of California.

Grounds for Divorce

There are two main grounds for divorce that you can use in California. The state is a no-fault state. Therefore, you have a right to file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. You may also divorce your spouse if he or she has been rendered legally incapacitated and unable to make decisions.

Mandatory Waiting Period After Service

Many states have a waiting period that the plaintiff must wait before receiving a judgment for divorce. The waiting period in California is six months after someone has served the divorce papers to their spouse.

The purpose of this is to provide additional time for the couple to determine whether they actually want to proceed with the divorce. In some cases, this “cool-off” period can change the couple’s mind or reinforce their divorce decision.

Therefore, a couple may be able to obtain a divorce on the first day after the sixth month if their divorce is uncontested and all of their paperwork is properly filled out. An uncontested divorce means that the couple agrees on all divorce issues like child custody and visitation, child support, property division, and alimony.

If the couple does not agree to the terms of their divorce, they will have to either work through mediation or go to court to resolve any outstanding issues that they don’t agree to. An experienced divorce attorney can look through your unique case and circumstances to help you get a more thorough idea of the amount of time this process can take.

Typically, cases that are more contentious and complex will require greater lengths of time. However, in all cases, a divorce will take at least six months.

Speak to a Murrieta Divorce Attorney Today

Divorce is not a matter that you should ever try to resolve by yourself. An experienced Murrieta divorce lawyer can ensure that your paperwork is completed properly and no problems exist in your case. Law Offices of Michael D. Iverson, APC can assist you with any of your needs concerning divorce.

Need help determining how long your divorce may take? Schedule a consultation with our legal experts by calling us today at (951) 418-2770.

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