According to the US Census Bureau, California recorded a low divorce rate in 2019 with 6.5%. Still, with the stress brought about by the pandemic, the extended quarantine, and related financial woes, experts say that divorce rates may trend upward in the coming months and years.
Orange Country has one of the highest divorce rates in California, with an average of 33 people filing for divorce every day.
Your marriage is in crumbles, and you’re planning to get a divorce, but there’s a ton of questions running through your mind. It’s best to consider seeking help from Orange County family law attorneys. They will certainly help you wade through the complicated divorce process.
Let’s answer a critical question that many of you may be wondering. So how long does it take to get a divorce in California?
Divorce waiting period in California
California Law provides that couples who wish to be divorced follow the mandatory waiting period of six months. It may take longer, but it cannot be earlier than six months. All California courts will only issue divorce decrees six months after the filing of the divorce petition. Other factors may impact the divorce proceedings, which we will discuss later.
It is important to note that residency is an essential requirement in filing your divorce petition. Under the law in California, couples who file for divorce can do so if one of the spouses has been living in California for at least six months. Moreover, one of them should be residing in the filing county for a minimum of three months.
Factors that may affect the length of divorce proceedings
Disputes Over Child Custody
One of the most controversial issues in family law, child custody disputes, may cause an otherwise simple divorce into a long and emotionally exhausting court battle. California family law practices the presumption of shared custody, so there’s a high probability of joint custody for both parties.
Another issue that may drag and draw out a divorce is child support. You may feel like sending an extra check may be too much, while your spouse may feel it isn’t enough. The bottom line is that both you and your spouse should ultimately agree to compromise.
In the spirit of compromise, California has a formula that courts use to determine the child support amount that a spouse needs to give.
California state law provides that each spouse gets 50% of whatever money they earned during the marriage and 100% of all they own before their union. When it comes to dividing property, each of the spouses is entitled to half of the shared assets. As simple as this may sound, many couples still end up fighting, which makes the divorce proceeding longer than it should be.
Choosing which divorce method to pursue is likewise a critical factor that may affect the length of the divorce. If you and your spouse bicker about things like child support, custody, and division of property, and hire attorneys to fight on your behalf, then you are in a contested divorce.
On the other hand, if you and your spouse agreed on all the issues, you have undergone an uncontested divorce. Unsurprisingly, uncontested divorce is the faster process between the two. Another option that is gaining popularity right now is an online divorce. In online divorce, the online company handles the paperwork, and the parties get through the process without even going to court.
Can we expedite a divorce in California?
A summary dissolution is one way to expedite the divorce process. Here are the requirements needed to qualify for summary dissolution.
- Divorce should be uncontested
- Parties should be married for not more than five years
- No children
- Limited shared assets and debts
- Waived spousal support
Can I file for an emergency divorce in California?
Unlike other states where they allow emergency divorce, everyone needs to wait out the mandatory six months before getting a divorce certificate in California. In most cases, it takes even longer. However, if you fear your or your children’s safety, you can file for a temporary restraining order.
Going through a divorce can be difficult. It can turn your once serene surroundings upside-down and feel anxious about the future. Hard as it may be, the key is to keep a positive outlook, take good care of yourself emotionally and physically, and avoid arguments with your former spouse.
Most importantly, remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Seeking the help of family law attorneys would be a great way to expedite the complicated divorce process.