How Long Does It Take To Get Divorced In California?

The short answer to this question is that it takes a minimum of six months. You will quickly discover that these types of questions are followed with the words, “it depends.” That is not a means to circumvent the question. 

These answers are always tied to your specific circumstances. And a lawyer—one who is well versed and experienced with family law—would be in the best position to do that for you. To give you a better idea of what to expect and prepare for, here are some of the factors that will determine how long it will take you to get divorced in the state of California. 

Residency Requirement 

Regardless of the following requirements, you will still have to go through the six-month waiting period. If you meet each one, and both you and your spouse agree to end the marriage, you will then undergo the waiting period. This will vary by state. North Carolina, for instance, is twelve months. 

To file for divorce in California, you (or your spouse) must meet the eligibility requirements. One or both of you must be California residents for six months before the divorce. Coincidentally, the state of California considers you to be a resident if you have lived here for more than six months in twelve months. Having property, a job, and being registered to vote in the state will all go towards proving you are a resident. 

When you file in a county (e.g., L.A. County), you will have had to have lived there for three months.

When Does The Waiting Period Begin?

This is an important question. Does it begin when you decide to get divorced? Move out? Although this may be sufficient for some states, California requires you to file for divorce. When you choose to dissolve your marriage, meet with an attorney. He can draft all the documents necessary and petitions relevant to your set of circumstances. Once your spouse has been served, they have 30 days to respond. 

During the waiting period, you, your spouse, and your attorneys will work through the terms of your divorce—primarily things such as child custody and the division of property. If you can agree to terms, your attorneys will draft a written agreement. If one cannot be reached, a judgment will have to be issued by the courts—which can increase the length of your divorce process.

Carroll Law Office

At the Carroll Law Office, it all begins with us listening. Our team of professional and qualified attorneys can only craft a unique approach to your case if we understand your needs. To meet with an attorney, contact us to schedule a free consultation