How Fast Can You Get A Divorce In California? Filing for a divorce can often seem like the light at the end of your tunnel. You’re ready to move on and get closure, but you don’t want it all taken care of in just one go – there are still some details that need finishing up before then!
While California courts have the shortest waiting time, with six month-long proceedings allowed in some instances.
The process may take longer than expected, though; Factors such as how well both parties know their rights within these laws determine whether they’ll be amicable or contentious throughout and affect timing significantly.
Extension Factors In The Divorce Process
The length of your divorce is largely determined by you, your spouse, your children, and your property.
If you or your spouse challenges elements of the divorce, it might take years to complete. Factors that can cause the timeline to be extended include:
- A lengthy process of document/asset discovery
- Conflicts over custody
- Support conflicts between spouses
- Asset division disagreements
- At the courthouse, scheduling
- Failure to participate in the legal procedure
- Withholding information from your lawyer
The timeline can be extended or shortened depending on how both sides negotiate along the way. For example, even amicable divorces might take longer if the spouses must deal with complicated financial issues.
Legal separation, same-sex couples, and domestic partners have different residency restrictions.
The court will sign your divorce judgment after approving your arrangement.
Your divorce attorney won’t be able to tell you an exact timeline for the divorce, but they can look at the big picture and give you an estimate to help you plan.
Expediting Your Divorce In California
If you and your husband are both fair, you may be able to cut the divorce procedure down to the legal minimum of six months.
All divorces and dissolutions in California are subject to a six-month waiting period to allow the parties to reconcile. Therefore, uncontested divorces and summary dissolutions are two reasonably quick divorce options in California.
Uncontested divorces are what the state refers to, divorces that end without a fight. Either both parties agree on the terms of the divorce, or the respondent fails to respond to the petition in an uncontested divorce (which will result in a default judgment).
Court appearances may be required in some circumstances. However, you can save time and stress by working with an attorney to prepare the papers and communicating with the courthouse via mail.
Many divorces begin amicably and then turn contentious. With all of the information in front of them, some couples may believe the other has an unfair advantage.
An uncontested divorce might become contentious if there is a formal disagreement. Consider resolving disputes through negotiation or arbitration to avoid prolonging your divorce.
In California, an uncontested divorce is usually achievable if:
- Both parties agree on separating assets, property, and money; if there are minor children, both parents need to decide how custody will be handled.
- Your spouse is unlikely to contest or reply to your divorce case, resulting in a default judgment against you.
Dissolution In Summary
The state also offers a fast-track divorce documentation process for qualified spouses. In addition, a summary dissolution permits the husband and wife to submit a divorce petition together.
The procedure will still take six months, but it will be considerably more manageable.
If you were married for less than five years, have no children, do not own real estate, owe less than $6,000 collectively, possess less than $41,000 in community property, own less than $41,000 in separate property, and never agree to receive spousal support, you may qualify for a summary dissolution.
Faster Doesn’t Always Mean Better
While the shortest possible divorce time may appear to be the best option at the time, we advise our clients to think about their needs and shared lives with their spouses.
A hasty divorce may leave you with regrets and bitterness in the future. But on the other hand, moving swiftly may compel you to request revisions to your spousal or child support arrangement after the divorce is finalized, which can cause the process to take longer than expected.
Instead of focusing on the deadline, consider how to strike a balance between practicality and completeness.
If you need to extend your divorce for a few months to ensure a fair division for you and your children, do it now to avoid future issues.
When Is It Legal to Divorce?
Divorce is never an easy decision, and it can be challenging when there are children involved. We recommend coming to terms on all of the significant issues before filing, such as who will get custody or what property division looks like regarding homes (or other valuable assets).
You may also want expert legal advice from someone knowledgeable about family law since this field has changed drastically over time; don’t wait until after you’ve already served your spouse.
Can Custody Cause Delay?
California requires you to go through custody mediation and it’s a good idea for both parents in the relationship.
You can work out any plans or agreements concerning children during this time, including financial issues like support payments that might arise from their lives after separation has occurred; an uncontested proceeding means there won’t need many signatures on paper (or at all).
You must attend custody mediation if you and your ex have not reached an agreement on custody and a parenting plan when you submit your divorce petition.
What Will Happen to Your Home/Properties
The acrimonious divorce process can take a long time to complete. You’ll want the help of an experienced attorney if you’re able since disagreeing about what will happen with your home and other assets are common in these cases. However, there are still many ways for things to go wrong without adequately planning, so it pays off big time when both parties work together on terms that benefit them equally before getting started.
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