What is a waiting period for divorce? In California, the waiting period is six months.

California is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that one spouse does not have to claim or prove that the other did something “wrong” in order to get a divorce.

The state of California does require a waiting period before a divorce can be finalized.

The initial document that is filed when one spouse files for divorce is called a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” (FL-100). Additionally, a Summons (FL-110) and a Proof of Service (FL-115) will be filed with the petition. A Summons Tells your spouse or domestic partner that a court case has started and what will happen if he or she does not respond in 30 days. A Proof of Service tells the court you had the papers served on your spouse or domestic partner. If the spouses share children, the petitioner will need to file a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA, FL-105/GC-120). The UCCJEA tells the judge who the children have been living with and if any other custody orders exist that involve this case.

The California Courts website explains that the process for divorce will take a minimum of 6 months from the date the person filing for divorce officially serves their spouse with the initial paperwork. The case can take less than 6 months, in which you will be able to get all your paperwork turned in to the court and your divorce judgment approved, but the divorce itself will not be final until at least 6 months after starting the case. This is a mandatory waiting period required by California law and no couple can be divorced faster than 6 months. While it is possible for the case to take less than 6 months, most cases usually take longer than 6 months for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include disagreements between spouses leading to multiple hearings or trials, court availability, the delay of disclosure or discovery, etc.

If you have questions about the waiting period during the divorce process, please call Morales Law for a complimentary consultation. THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Factual circumstances will vary and require specific procedures. We are Santa Barbara Divorce Lawyers. This is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon prior to, or in place of, consulting with legal counsel. Morales Law can be reached at (805)-422-7966 or at www.mysantabarbaralawyer.com.

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