divorce proceedings

When you decide to separate from your spouse, you want to finish the process as soon as possible. However, California’s waiting period could disrupt your plans. Whether you are planning to file or want to know your options, there are certain points you will need to consider. So, how long do you have to wait to get a divorce in California? We have the answers for you. 

Divorce in California

Like most states, a divorce will officially dissolve the marriage. If you want to file, at least one spouse will need to be a California resident for at least six months. They will also need to be a resident of the filing county for at least three months. 

Is There a Waiting Period in California?

Unfortunately, there is a waiting period. That is bad news if you want a quick end to your marriage. California requires a mandatory six-month waiting period before finalizing a divorce. This period will begin once the non-filing spouse receives the divorce papers. Since some decisions are made in anger, this six-month period allows both parties to “cool off.” 

During this time, the spouse can decide whether to remain separated or follow through with the divorce. Those who want to reconcile may seek counseling to help with any issues that have led to the divorce. 

If they continue with the divorce, this waiting period can be used to work towards agreements on child support, property diversion, personal support, and child custody. Many couples will choose to retain an attorney to help resolve these issues. 

The spouse who receives the divorce papers must respond. They will have 30 days to file a response. If they fail to do so, then the court can decide the case by default. That means this individual will have no input for the settlement terms. 

Will My Divorce Be Completed in Six Months?

While there is a six-month waiting period, that does not necessarily mean your divorce will be finalized in that time frame. Some divorces are straightforward. Both spouses agree to the terms, and there is an amicable split. 

Unfortunately, the process often takes a lot longer. Sometimes, some issues cannot be resolved during that time. In those cases, it can take longer to reach a divorce settlement. However, no matter what, you cannot have a divorce finalized before the end of this six-month period. 

Can I Skip the Waiting Period?

While you may want to expedite the divorce process, you have to abide by the six-month time period. Some states offer waivers for their waiting period, but California doesn’t have that option. Unfortunately, you will have to wait to finalize a divorce. 

Learn More About Your California Divorce Options

How long do you have to wait to get a divorce in California? The answer is six months. The waiting period can add another layer of complexity to a case. However, both spouses can use this time to decide whether they want to follow through on the process or try to save their marriage. 

If you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, contact the Roberts & Zatlin Family Law Firm. For over 35 years, we have provided thorough family law services throughout California. 

Our office in Temecula extends its services to Menifee, Hemet, Sun City, Lake Elsinore, Winchester, Wildomar, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange County, Vista, San Diego, Inland Valley, and all other parts of the state. To schedule a consultation today and receive a free initial assessment of your case, please call (951) 381-8147 today.

Similar Posts