How Long Does the Divorce Process Take in California?

Man and woman sits at a desk with hands clasped.When you file your petition for divorce, you probably have hopes and expectations that your marriage will end quickly and you can move forward with many aspects of your life. However, you should note that, when you first file your papers and petition the court for your divorce, you must wait 6 months in California until the process moves forward. This seems like a long and tedious process but there are reasons behind it. In regards to your spouse answering your divorce petition, they have exactly 30 days after they receive it. If they do not respond or need time to consider it, your attorney can waive it.

These six months serves a wonderful purpose of being able to agree on certain factors with your spouse while you wait on the divorce. When you reach agreements on different aspects, you and your attorney will file it with the court so they are aware of these issues. If you do not reach an agreement at the end of these six months, you will have to notify the court and they will move forward with a trial to settle matters.

Factors That Affect the Time Period 

There are other factors that will determine how long the process takes. For instance, have you and your spouse decided on custody and a parenting plan? If not, in California you will be expected to attend custody mediation to talk about different matters. You may even be able to take a shortcut known as a “bifurcation” to get past the waiting period. This is used to terminate your marital status even though you have not reached an agreement on property and custody issues.

Because this process can be complicated and there may be many issues you need to settle, you should always speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Amy M. Montes, we have answers to your burning divorce questions. Call us today for more information on how we can help you in the midst of your divorce.