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How Long Does a Divorce Take In California?


San Diego divorce attorneyHollywood is not a stranger to divorce. There are many stories from Hollywood to the Big Apple headlining new stories of celebrity couples whose marriage is now falling apart. One of the most recent celebrity couples to start their downfall is the iconic Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. The issue dates back to the time when the couple’s son got involved in an argument between the two parents.

After alleged cases of abuse and drinking what seemed like a simple argument has now spiraled into Angelina starting the process to divorce her husband. The date of separation was placed on September 15th, 2016, but what does that mean in regards to the actual legalities behind the divorce. When will the couple be legally “single” again?

To answer this question, well, the answer simply depends on many variables. There are many factors that come into play varying the time that divorce will take. When looking at California specifically let’s run through some of the protocols.

Filing for Divorce

As is the case with many topics in the legal system, divorce has many loopholes, rules and protocols. When looking at the very first step, the filing process, you must have at least six months of residency in the state before you are able to file for divorce. In more basic terms, you need to have lived in the state for six months. Once you have officially filed for divorce your significant other has 30 days to reply. However they already have the opportunity to extend this period of time or prolong the process.

Waiting Time

Once both parties have agreed to the divorce there is a waiting period of at least six months. No matter the circumstances this time has to be waited out, despite factors such as if you want to marry someone else in this time. You have to wait out the initial six months before your divorce is considered legal.

Other Factors

Once this six-month period commences it does not mean that the divorce is official at the end of this time. There are many components that come into play that can extend this period. The most influential factor is how much can the two parties agree on various issues. Another huge factor is how often the two have to go to court.

If the married couple cannot settle on childcare agreements or financial settlements without the use of judicial involvement the length of time is substantially prolonged.

If the courts are involved it is not uncommon for a hearing date to be set several months out. This already in itself extends the divorce time by almost 100% on one issue alone.

Short Cuts

There is one exception that can let you bypass settlements and get you straight to the six-month mark There is a California law that allows you to immediately terminate your marriage at the six month mark. All additional settlements will then be worked out on your time. In this instance the only thing to keep in mind is whether having legal bounds to your significant other will help finalize your settlements more easy.

All in all it is impossible to guess how long your divorce may take. It comes down to how much you and your spouse can agree on final settlements. As for Brad and Angelina, we wish you the best, divorce is not easy.

DISCLAIMER:  The above article is intended for educational use and is not a legal guideline. For legal advice please contact Matthew M. Kremer, San Diego family law attorney.


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