How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in California
If you have an uncontested divorce, it would take you six months and one day after the services of process. If you have a contested divorce, it depends on the efficiency of your attorney and the cooperation of both parties – from 7 months to 7 years..
This situation can happen if both parties agree to everything immediately. If there is no disagreement between parties regarding child custody/visitation, child/spousal support, and property division, you have an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is the fasted divorce you could possibly obtain. If spouses cannot agree on all or any issues of the divorce, you have a contested divorce that could be going for years. There are some cases with divorces which are going on 8-9 years.
There are a lot of variables included which can extend the process and time. Such as a child’s custody dispute, a property dispute or spousal support dispute, etc. You also have to make sure that you are fulfilling the residency requirements. Let discuss each factor in more detail.
How long does it take to get a divorce in California – the importance of Residency Requirements
Most people wonder how long does it take to get a divorce in California, but they don’t understand that there are certain requirements in order to proceed in a timely manner. If you don’t meet the requirements you won’t be able to get the divorce.
California is a no-fault divorce system state. Meaning, you do not have to show proof of any wrongdoing of your spouse. So, even if your partner disagrees with the proceedings you can get the divorce done and you can proceed with divorce provided the following residency requirements are met:
- Either you or your partner, need to verify that you were a California resident for a minimum of six months.
- Either one of you also must verify that you were in the county where you are about to file the divorce for at least three months.
How long does it take to get a divorce in California – the importance of filing the correct paperwork
If you would like your divorce to be completed fast, you need to get in touch with a family law attorney or LDA to help you with all the necessary paperwork correctly in the first place. The following forms must be submitted at the first step of your divorce: Form FL-100: Petition for Dissolution and Form FL-110: Summons and a local forms which your county is required. You have to submit additional forms if you have children together with your spouse/partner.
After the divorce is filed, someone needs to serve the paperwork to your spouse. You cannot do it yourself, but you can let anyone older than 18 who is not party of the case do it for you. After that, the person who serves needs to sign and fill needs Form FL-115: Proof of Service of Summons.
Your spouse has a right to respond in the next 30 days. If that is not done then the court may give proceed with a default judgment. Very often uncontested divorces done using the strategy of default judgment with the agreement. The process might go as uncontested when the response filed as well. However, usually, there is no reason to respond if spouses agreed on everything and the petitioner set up everything convenient for both in a stipulated judgment
If the divorce is contested and one spouse is trying to delay the process, one spouse would try to avoid the service of the process. This makes the divorce longer. Sometimes the spouse’s location is unknown and the petitioner needs to proceed with the service of process by publication. The answer to the question How long does it take to get a divorce in California in such a situation would not be too certain.
How long does it take to get a divorce in California with Disputes on Child Custody?
This is by far one of the most common issues that make the process more time-consuming. If kids are involved then you need to establish child custody, child visitation and child support. Also, you need to sort out the visitation, parenting style, support, etc. These things cannot be handled in a few hours. So they need long discussions and planning.
This factor brings so many details into play that it will take longer than you can expect. It can also require mediation or trial. And this also takes time. So, if you ask how long does it take to get a divorce in California, then you need to think about this factor.
How long does it take to get a divorce in California with Disputes on Division of Property?
Another big factor to consider while wondering how long does it take to get a divorce in California is how cooperative are spouses in a property dispute.
The more property that you own together and the more doubt you have how to split it, the lengthier this process will be. Usually, people fight over significant items, such as real estate, businesses, cars, etc. Some even fight for even the smallest things.
So you should think about the benefits when you are about to fight for everything, as it may just make it more time consuming and expensive.
How long does it take to get a divorce in California – document completion?
The court might provide the final package of the divorce documents before the six month waiting period ends. But legally you still will be married. In your stipulated judgment, it would be stated the day when you restore your status to single. After you have received your final documents from the court and time when you will become single nothing would happen in the court that would affect your case.