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How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in California?

If you are considering getting a divorce, you likely have many questions and concerns, like what the process looks like and how long it takes to complete. In California, there is a mandatory waiting period before couples can finalize their divorce. Below our San Bernardino divorce lawyer explains what it takes to start the divorce process in California and the minimum amount of time required to complete.

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 also can meet the state’s residency requirement if your spouse is a qualified resident, but you are not.

Grounds for Divorce

California is a no-fault state, which means there does not have to be grounds, or reasons, for the marriage ending. Therefore, you have a right to file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. This means that neither spouse did anything to cause the marriage to end. However, someone wanting to divorce can also do so if their spouse has been rendered legally incapacitated and unable to make decisions.

Mandatory Waiting Period After Filing

Many states have a waiting period that the plaintiff must wait before he or she can receive 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 decision regarding divorce.

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.

Call Our San Bernardino Divorce Lawyer for Assistance

Divorce is not a matter that is easy to resolve on your own, and making little mistakes in the process can extend the time it takes to finalize your divorce. A skilled San Bernardino divorce attorney can not only ensure that all paperwork is completed properly but protect you and your family’s rights throughout the process. The Law Office of Michael R. Young is always here to assist you with all aspects of divorce.

Schedule a consultation with our team of legal experts today at (909) 315-4588.