How Long it Usually Takes for the Dissolution of a Marriage in California

July 28, 2023

California is a great place to get married, but unfortunately, it's also a state where marriage dissolutions are commonplace. If you're considering filing for dissolution of marriage in California, you may be wondering how long it takes to dissolve a marriage. This blog post will provide an overview of the process and explain how long it typically takes for a marriage to be dissolved in the state of California. We'll discuss the various steps involved in the dissolution of the marriage process and the estimated timeframe for completion. With this information, you can better plan for your future and understand what to expect during the dissolution process.

Understanding the dissolution of marriage in California

Going through a divorce is a challenging and emotional experience, especially if you have kids. In California, a divorce is called a dissolution of marriage. It's important to understand the process so you can make informed decisions and minimize the stress involved. A divorce attorney can guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.

The first step in the dissolution of the marriage process is to file a petition for divorce. This is the legal document that starts the process and identifies the grounds for divorce. In California, you can file for divorce based on irreconcilable differences or incurable insanity.

After you file the petition, your spouse will have the opportunity to respond. If your spouse doesn't respond within 30 days, you can ask for a default judgment. If your spouse does respond, the two of you will work together to reach a settlement agreement. This is a written agreement that outlines how you will divide your property, debts, and other issues related to your marriage.

If you can't reach a settlement agreement, the court will intervene and make decisions on your behalf. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, so it's best to try to reach an agreement with your spouse if possible. Sometimes it is not possible, which is why we are litigators ready to advocate for you in Court.

One of the most challenging aspects of going through a divorce is figuring out how to see your kids. In California, the court will always prioritize the best interests of the children when making custody decisions. This means that they will consider factors such as each parent's ability to provide for the children, their relationship with the children, and any history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

It's important to work with your divorce attorney to develop a custody and visitation plan that meets your needs and your children's needs. This may involve sharing custody, creating a visitation schedule, or even working with a mediator to reach an agreement. Whatever the outcome, remember that your children's well-being is the most important consideration.

The different types of divorce in California

If you are going through a divorce in California, it is important to understand the different types of divorce available to you. Hiring a divorce attorney can help you determine which type of divorce is best suited for your specific situation.

1. Summary Dissolution:

Summary dissolution is a simplified divorce process for couples who meet certain requirements. In order to qualify for summary dissolution, couples must have been married for less than 5 years, have no children, own no real estate, and have minimal assets and debts.

2. Uncontested Divorce:

An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both parties agree on all issues related to the divorce, including property division, spousal support, child custody, and child support. This type of divorce can be completed relatively quickly and is often less expensive than a contested divorce.

3. Contested Divorce:

A contested divorce is a divorce in which the parties cannot agree on one or more issues related to the divorce. This type of divorce can take longer and be more expensive than an uncontested divorce, as it may require litigation and the involvement of a divorce attorney.

Regardless of which type of divorce you choose, it is important to make sure that you are taking steps to protect your rights and ensure that you can see your kids after the divorce. A divorce attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the divorce process and advocate for your interests.

Factors that affect the timeline of a divorce in California

If you are going through a divorce in California, it's important to understand that the length of time it takes to finalize your divorce can vary. Several factors can affect the timeline of a divorce, some of which include:

1. Complexity of the case: One of the main factors that can affect the length of a divorce in California is the complexity of the case. If the divorce is straightforward and both parties agree on the major issues, such as property division, child custody, and support, it can be finalized within a few months. However, if there are disputes or contested issues, it can take much longer to finalize the divorce.

2. Filing and serving: The timeline of a divorce in California can also be affected by how quickly the divorce papers are filed and served. If one spouse delays in filing the necessary paperwork, or if there are issues with serving the papers to the other spouse, it can significantly prolong the process.

3. Court schedules: Another factor that can affect the timeline of a divorce in California is the court schedule. In some cases, there may be delays in getting a hearing or trial date due to the volume of cases that the court is handling.

4. Negotiation and settlement: If both parties can come to an agreement on the major issues in the divorce, it can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to finalize the divorce. However, if negotiations break down and the case goes to trial, it can take much longer to resolve.

5. Mandatory waiting period: In California, there is a mandatory waiting period of six months from the date the divorce papers are served before a divorce can be finalized. This waiting period cannot be waived, which means that even if both parties agree on all of the issues, the divorce cannot be finalized until after this waiting period has passed.

6. Legal representation: If one or both parties have legal representation, it can affect the timeline of a divorce in California. If both parties have lawyers who are able to negotiate and come to an agreement quickly, it can reduce the amount of time it takes to finalize the divorce. However, if one or both parties change lawyers multiple times or there are disputes over legal fees, it can significantly prolong the process.

Common mistakes that delay the divorce process in California

When it comes to getting a divorce in California, there are a number of things that can slow down the process. Many of these delays can be avoided if you know what to look out for. Here are some common mistakes that people make that can delay the divorce process in California.

1. Failing to Disclose All Assets and Liabilities

One of the most common mistakes people make when getting a divorce is failing to disclose all of their assets and liabilities. In California, both parties are required to disclose all assets and debts, and failure to do so can result in significant delays in the divorce process.

2. Being Uncooperative or Refusing to Negotiate

If you are uncooperative or refuse to negotiate with your spouse, it can significantly delay the divorce process. It is important to work with your spouse to come to an agreement on all issues, including child custody, property division, and spousal support.

3. Failing to Respond to Court Orders or Documents

If you fail to respond to court orders or documents in a timely manner, it can result in significant delays in the divorce process. It is important to keep track of all court dates and deadlines and to respond to any requests from the court promptly.

4. Refusing to Compromise on Issues

Divorce often involves a number of difficult issues, including child custody, property division, and spousal support. If you refuse to compromise on any of these issues, it can result in significant delays in the divorce process.

5. Failing to Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes people make when getting a divorce in California is failing to hire an experienced divorce attorney. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process and help you avoid common mistakes that can delay your divorce.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can help ensure that your divorce in California proceeds as smoothly and quickly as possible. It is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help guide you through the process and protect your interests throughout the divorce proceedings.

What to do if the divorce process is taking too long

Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotional time, but it can be even more frustrating if the process is taking longer than expected. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to try and speed things up. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you feel like your divorce is taking too long:

1. Talk to Your Attorney: The first thing you should do if you feel like your divorce is taking too long is to talk to your attorney. Your attorney can give you a better understanding of why things are taking so long and may be able to give you a timeline for when things are expected to move forward.

2. Try Mediation: If your divorce is taking too long because of disagreements between you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, you may want to try mediation. Mediation is a way for both parties to come together and work out their differences with the help of a neutral third party. Mediation can be less expensive and less time-consuming than going to court.

3. Stay Organized: Make sure you are staying organized throughout the divorce process. Keep track of all documents, emails, and other correspondence related to your divorce. This can help ensure that nothing is overlooked and can also help speed things up.

4. Be Flexible: If you are willing to be flexible, you may be able to speed up the divorce process. For example, if you are fighting over the custody of your children, you may want to consider shared custody or visitation schedules that are more flexible.

5. Consider a Temporary Order: If there are certain issues that are holding up the divorce process, you may want to consider getting a temporary order. A temporary order can be used to resolve issues such as child support or custody while the divorce is still pending.

If your divorce is taking longer than expected, it can be frustrating, but it’s important to remain patient and keep moving forward. Talk to your attorney, consider mediation, stay organized, be flexible, and consider temporary orders if necessary. By taking these steps, you may be able to speed up the process and move on with your life sooner.

What are the rules of divorce in California?

When it comes to getting a divorce in California, there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed in order to make the process as smooth and efficient as possible. Understanding these rules can help you navigate the divorce process more easily and ensure that you don't encounter any unexpected roadblocks along the way.

One of the most important rules of divorce in California is that the state operates under a "no-fault" divorce system. This means that neither party has to prove fault or wrongdoing in order to file for divorce. Instead, one party can simply state that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and this is sufficient grounds for a divorce.

Another important rule is that California has a mandatory six-month waiting period between the time that a divorce petition is filed and when it can be finalized. This means that even if both parties are in agreement and there are no contested issues, the divorce cannot be completed until six months have passed. This waiting period is designed to give couples time to reflect on their decision and consider the ramifications of divorce before making it official.

Additionally, California is a community property state, which means that all property and assets acquired during the marriage are considered jointly owned by both parties. This includes things like income, real estate, and personal property. During a divorce, the court will divide these assets equally between the two parties, unless there is a prenuptial agreement or some other agreement in place that specifies otherwise.

There are also rules regarding child custody and support that must be followed in California. If there are children involved in the divorce, the court will make decisions regarding custody and visitation based on what is in the best interests of the children. Child support will also be calculated based on the income of both parents and the needs of the child.

Overall, understanding the rules of divorce in California can help you navigate the process more effectively and ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can also be helpful in this regard, as they can provide guidance and support every step of the way.

How to make sure you can see you kids after a divorce

When going through a divorce, one of the biggest concerns for parents is often the well-being and care of their children. California courts place a high priority on the best interests of the child when determining custody and visitation arrangements. Here are some tips to help you ensure that you can continue to have a meaningful relationship with your children after the divorce.

1. Work with a skilled attorney

A knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the complexities of child custody and visitation in California. They can provide you with information on your rights as a parent, advise you on the legal options available to you, and help you prepare a strong case for custody and visitation.

2. Create a parenting plan

A parenting plan is a detailed agreement that outlines the responsibilities of each parent regarding their children's care and upbringing. The plan should include details such as visitation schedules, pick-up and drop-off arrangements, and decision-making authority for important matters such as education and medical treatment.

3. Prioritize communication

Effective communication between co-parents is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship with your children. It's important to keep your co-parent informed of any changes to your schedule or your children's activities, and to be responsive to their communications as well.

4. Show up for visitation

Consistent visitation is critical for maintaining a strong relationship with your children. Make sure to show up for scheduled visits, be on time, and be fully engaged with your children during your time together.

5. Put your children's needs first

In all decisions related to custody and visitation, the best interests of your children should be the primary consideration. Be willing to compromise and work with your co-parent to find solutions that prioritize your children's well-being.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that you maintain a strong relationship with your children even after a divorce. With the guidance of an experienced attorney and a commitment to effective communication and co-parenting, you can create a positive and stable environment for your children to thrive.

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This material is provided for educational purposes only. Providing this information does not establish an attorney/client relationship. None of the information contained in this newsletter should be acted upon without first consulting with an attorney. Should you have questions about the content of this newsletter, please arrange to discuss via a consultation.