As you might already know, the divorce procedure, costs, and time can differ greatly from state to state. There are no federal divorce laws in the United States is a federal country.

That means it’s up to each state to decide the rules for divorces. And while there are many similarities in the laws, each state has it’s own unique way of doing things.

This article is part of our series in how long divorce takes in different states. It’s a question that a lot of people seeking a divorce want to know. And, again, it’s something that varies from state to state.

If you reside in California, this is the article for you. We will share with you how long does a divorce take in California. You’ll also find some other helpful information for those wanting to get a divorce in CA.

How Long Does A Divorce Take In California?

The minimum divorce process in California takes at least six months. In the Golden State, a divorce process between two spouses averages more than six months. 

That is because the California divorce law has a mandatory waiting period. A court in California will not issue a divorce decree until it is past six months from the time that one of the spouses filed for divorce. 

However, everything in the divorce can be settled in less than 6 months (ie. child custody, division of assets), it just won’t be finalized faster than the waiting period. The six month mandatory wait is just the minimum amount of time both spouses must wait to get a divorce decree. 

There are also certain factors that may affect how long a divorce will take in California. We will tell you these factors below. 

Meeting California Residency Requirements

If you or your spouse have not yet met the residency requirements to file for a divorce in the state of California, then your divorce may take longer than six months. 

The residency requirements to file for a divorce in California are that one of the two spouses must have been a California resident for at least six months upon filing. 

Additionally, one of the spouses must have also lived in the county where they will file for at least three months. 

So if you are new to California, you may have to wait nine to twelve months before you and your spouse can get divorced in California. 

Unresolved Divorce Issues

As we have previously mentioned in our previous articles, the more issues that you and your spouse have to resolve, the longer the divorce may take. These issues may involve child support, child custody, and property issues. 

There may also exist other unresolved issues, after the divorce occurs. That is because the court and the divorce attorneys will have to settle all the issues between the two spouses in the fairest manner possible.

The Type Of Divorce You Choose

As previously discussed, there are different types of divorce aside from the usual courtroom scenes that we see in entertainment movies and shows. 

The type of divorce you or your spouse choose can also affect the length of your divorce. 

For instance, an uncontested divorce may take a shorter amount of time to process. If you are open to exploring other options, we suggest that you look into a DIY divorce.

Summary Dissolution or the “Quickie Divorce”

California also offer a “quick and easy” way to get divorced. It’s a way to get divorced that does not involve either a judge or a divorce attorney.

It’s called a summary dissolution.

You can do this if you and your spouse:

  • Have been married for under 5 years
  • Don’t have children together
  • Don’t own or rent any land/buildings
  • Have less than $6,000 in debt (specifically debt that you’ve gotten since your got married)
  • Have acquired less than $47,000 in property since you got married
  • Don’t have separate property worth over $47,000
  • Have a signed agreement that divides your property and debts
  • Agree neither spouse will get spousal support

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