2024 How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?

2024 How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?

Once the difficult decision to end a marriage has been made, most people would understandably prefer their divorce to be resolved sooner rather than later. Divorces have a reputation for being emotionally draining and expensive, but just how long does a divorce take in California?

While there’s no easy way to predict how any particular case will take, there are common factors that can influence your divorce timeline and a mandatory waiting period that everyone must abide by. You can explore topics in depth once you meet with your experienced family law attorney.

Common Steps Involved in a Divorce

If you are considering divorce, your first step should be to consult with an experienced family law attorney. They will guide you through the divorce process, explaining its intricacies in detail.

Before your attorney can file for divorce on your behalf, certain requirements must be met. California’s residency requirement mandates that anyone filing for divorce must have lived within the state for at least six months and in the county where you plan to file for three months.

You do not have to wait to file for divorce in California. However, you’ll need to wait at least six months from the date of filing before the divorce can be finalized. During this time, your attorney will ensure your spouse is properly notified of the divorce filing.

It’s worth noting that California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning you don’t have to prove someone caused the divorce. When both parties come to an agreement on the division of assets, child visitation schedules, and other important topics, a judge will sign the divorce decree as long as the waiting period has passed.

Factors That Can Influence How Long It Takes to Get a Divorce

The most optimistic timeline for finalizing any divorce in California is six months. If you have the right legal representation and your spouse is willing to work with you in a collaborative manner, you can use the six-month waiting period to finalize all the necessary legal paperwork.

There are many factors and circumstances that can delay your divorce. The most common reason a divorce is delayed is due to disagreements between the spouses. It only takes one side to be combative to cause delays and unforeseen expenses. Fortunately, an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate these situations.

High-asset couples generally have more work they need to complete before their divorce can be finalized. This is because all assets, debts, and properties need to be accounted for. If one spouse tries to hide assets, that can further complicate and delay the divorce process. In some cases, one party may have to hire an investigator with a background in financial forensics to search for hidden assets.

A contested divorce comes with unique challenges. When one side delays the divorce process by making unreasonable demands or not fulfilling important disclosure requests, that can delay the time it takes to finalize a divorce considerably.

One way your family law attorney can resolve those issues is by requesting that both parties go to mediation, where a neutral third-party mediator who has experience in conflict resolution can work to find common ground. Once everything is ready and the waiting period has elapsed, a judge will sign the divorce decree, and your divorce will be complete.


Q: How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce in California if Both Parties Agree?

A: If both parties agree to the terms of a divorce, it can take just over six months to finalize a divorce. When both parties agree, the quickest way to settle a divorce is by working with an experienced family law attorney who can complete the necessary legal filings for a judge to sign after the waiting period elapses. Six months may sound like a long time, but you will want to use the waiting period to divide your assets and debt and settle any custody matters.

Q: How Long Does the Average Divorce in California Take?

A: Getting a divorce in California will take at least six months. Some former couples are able to finalize their divorce soon after, while complex divorce cases can take much longer to finalize. Each case is unique and may pose unique challenges. One way you can work to avoid unnecessary delays is by hiring an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with the family court system in your county.

Q: Why Does Divorce Take So Long in California?

A: The main reason that a divorce takes so long in California is because there is a mandatory waiting period of six months. Everyone must abide by this waiting period. Divorces are often complicated to settle. This is because every marital asset, debt, and property must be accounted for. Both spouses must come to an agreement on important matters. When both parties cannot agree on certain areas, a judge has to make those decisions.

Q: How Can I Speed Up My Divorce in California?

A: You can speed up your divorce in California by working with an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with the courts in your county. Being willing to compromise on important issues can help resolve disagreements during the divorce. If your goal is to settle your divorce with favorable outcomes, you can do so by trusting the advice of your attorney and being pragmatic in your approach to issues as they arise.

Schedule Your California Divorce Consultation Today

Most divorcing spouses want their divorce to be resolved sooner rather than later. While some cases can settle in just over six months, many will take longer. You can reduce your chances of a protracted and costly divorce by working with a lawyer who protects your rights while consistently working to build consensus between you and your spouse.

The attorneys at Erica Bloom Law understand that your time is valuable and that you may be eager to begin the next chapter of your life. To schedule your divorce consultation, contact our office today. We look forward to providing you with compassionate and comprehensive legal services.

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