How Long Does It Take for My Divorce to Finalize in California?

The length of a divorce varies from case to case. California is actually one of several states that has a waiting period for divorce. This means that you will remain married for at least 6 months after filing your petition for divorce. The waiting period is intended to make sure that you still wish to follow through with the decision to end your marriage. In this blog we explain the different steps of getting divorced.

The Waiting Period

The 6 month waiting period starts when your spouse is served with divorce papers, not on the date you file your petition. Both of these must occur before the waiting period can begin. The 6 month period is supposed to be used by you and your spouse to resolve issues and come to a formal agreement. If you reach an agreement, a judge will decree your divorce after the 6 month waiting period has expired. If you can’t reach an agreement after 6 months, you will need to notify the court that you will require a trial to settle your divorce.

If parties are able to agree to all terms and conditions related to the divorce, our office can prepare all paperwork to finish the divorce, but the divorce judgement will reflect a date six months after the spouse was served the divorce petition as the date the parties become single people and can re-marry.

Divorce Shortcuts

In California, you can become divorced even if you and your spouse have yet to settle all property or custody disputes. In a “bifurcate” divorce, the court terminates your marital status at the 6 month mark, or when you request it after the 6month waiting period has expired. Although there are still unresolved issues between you and your spouse, they can be negotiated or litigated at another time.

Want to learn more about the process of getting a divorce? Call (951) 779-1610, or contact our team of Murrieta divorce lawyers to find out what we can do for you today.


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