Divorce signifies not only the end of a relationship, but the “failure” of time and an emotional investment that sometimes takes years to cultivate. If you are considering divorce, you may be wondering how long it takes to get a divorce living in California. This is your Q&A to help you get a better idea of the different divorce timelines in California.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?
Divorce is one of the most difficult times in life.
How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?
If you are looking for a simple answer, there isn’t one. How long does a divorce take in California? The simplest answer is that it can take as little or as long as you want it to. Some divorces can take a couple of months, others can drag on for years.
It depends on what is at stake, how important those sticking points are, and how much money you are willing to spend. The longer a divorce goes, the more costly it is going to be.
Can I have a quick divorce?
The simplest way to make a divorce more streamlined is to agree with what the other person wants. This can either mean coming to an agreement that is mutually beneficial so that both parties can move on or simply giving into the demands of the other person.
When the petition has been filed, parties must wait at least six months from the date that the paperwork has been served before the divorce can be finalized. While this sounds like limbo, a judgment for an uncontested divorce can be submitted to the court.
When the six-month period has been fulfilled, the marital status is up for termination. But in that time, both parties can work with one another to resolve any outstanding issues that could potentially drag the divorce process out even further.
While there is no simple answer to “how long does a divorce take,” everything can be made easier with the mindset of being agreeable.
What Issues make divorces take longer?
When we think of divorce, we tend to think of two parties who dig their heels in and battle over everything. That is because this happens on a daily basis everywhere around the world. Emotions can run high in a divorce and ultimately lead to both parties wanting to “win” even though both parties ultimately end up losing.
There are a handful of issues that can lead to a divorce dragging out. The most common involve jointly owned businesses, sale of property, distribution of assets, and child custody disputes. Before you can wonder “how long does a divorce take,” you should consider the potential points for disagreement.
The reason why so many divorce cases extend well past the aforementioned six-month mark is because of their disagreements. Drawn-out divorces oftentimes involve one or more combative parties who are not willing to compromise or come to a resolution on anything. They want everything in the case, from property to assets to custody of the children.
But that doesn’t mean that only highly emotional battles result in longer court cases. The simple fact is that if certain things have not been agreed to in that six-month period, it can draw out the divorce for much longer than is needed.
Do I need a lawyer?
Unless you can come to a reasonable and amicable agreement with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, it is highly advised that you lawyer up. These are professionals who have the knowledge and experience to represent their clients in a way that is most beneficial to their goals and needs.
That isn’t to say that a long, drawn-out battle is the best course of action. Those take far too much time, money, and emotional investment to be beneficial. At the end of it all, both parties are left worse for the wear both financially and emotionally. It is a zero-sum game.
But having a lawyer on your side means that your rights and needs are best represented. Whether that means staking a claim for a family home, being given access to investment accounts, or gaining custody of the children, each of those are important.
A lawyer will do their best to represent those wants and needs. They understand that it may not even be about “winning” or “losing,” but getting what is felt to be best for that time and situation. It is their job to represent you in a way that helps to achieve those wishes to the fullest extent.
Getting separated or divorced is never a fun thing. Even though it is for the best, it can be difficult to move forward, especially if there is a perceived claim to be made. Get through the process with the right help and start the next chapter of your life.