What Is the Divorce Timeline in California?

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When your marriage begins to deteriorate, you may start preparing for a divorce. While gathering the necessary documents and organizing your finances, you may wonder how long this process can take. It’s important to understand what you can expect during this process and the factors that can impact the outcome. The following blog explores the typical divorce timeline for those in California. Additionally, you’ll discover why connecting with a Los Angeles divorce attorney is in your best interest for these complex times.

What Are the Steps in a Divorce Timeline?

Before you can file for divorce in California, you must meet the residency requirement. Generally, you or your spouse must live in California for six months and in the county where you want to file for three months.

The first step in the process is to file the divorce petition if your spouse has not done so already. The respondent, either you or your spouse, depending on who filed the petition first, will have thirty days to respond. Additionally, it’s important to understand that the date on which the respondent is served marks the beginning of the six-month waiting period required by the California courts before you are legally a single person again.

Next, you’ll need to go through the discovery process. This involved sharing information with the other party to ensure there is full disclosure regarding assets, debts, and investments.

After you are served, your property must be distributed. Depending on the complexity of the assets involved and your ability to cooperate and compromise with your spouse, this can take some time. If you and your spouse can negotiate the distribution of your assets, it can drastically reduce how long this process takes. However, if you continue to disagree on these matters, the courts will follow California’s community property laws. As such, these assets will be distributed evenly between spouses, regardless of each party’s contribution.

What Factors Influence How Long a Divorce Takes in California?

While the minimum time to finalize your divorce in California is six months due to the mandatory waiting period, other factors can make this process longer. Your ability to cooperate, the complexity of the assets involved, whether or not you have children, agreeing on alimony, and any business valuations that must be conducted can all influence how long these matters can take.

If you are worried about your divorce taking too long, it’s imperative to connect with the team at the Zitser Family Law Group. We have the experience you need to handle complex matters involving your divorce, so we can guide you through this process to help make things go as smoothly as possible. Connect with our team today to discuss your circumstances.

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