Divorce is not an option that most people choose willingly. It is only chosen when all other options have been exhausted and for good reason. Besides most people not wanting to risk ending their most significant relationship, a divorce can be costly, time consuming and full of painful emotional stress that most people would rather avoid. Therefore, most people want to know exactly how long a divorce will take to obtain and when they will be legally considered single again under California law.
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer here. The best answer though is that there are a number of factors that will affect how long your divorce will take, as well as a number of minimum periods of time that must be respected before your divorce is granted and you are considered legally single.
At a minimum, the best case scenario is that your divorce takes six months from the time that your Petition for Dissolution is served on your spouse. It is possible with an uncontested divorce that a settlement is entered and approved by a judge prior to the six-month period expiring that a dissolution of marriage can be obtained, but such an event is very rare.
Remember though that this a minimum amount of time that must pass. This is also assuming that there are no contested issues in your divorce, a scenario which is highly unlikely. The only way that you are able to achieve legal single status again in six months is if your divorce is uncontested. If there is an issue regarding child custody, child and spousal support or the division of your marital property, chances are high that your divorce will take longer to be completed.
Contested divorces can also be extended by the process of disclosure and discovery, wherein both parties can request documents, information, answers to questions and collect out of court testimony called depositions. The period of discovery has no set time limit and can go on for months as each side pours over new information obtained from the other and requests further documents.
Cooperation is key when it comes to speeding up the divorce process. If both spouses can agree on the issues, the divorce will be granted much more quickly. However, if the spouses cannot agree and the assistance of the court is required, the divorce can easily drag on for longer than a year. If the spouses must go to court before the judge to resolve every issue, then the spouses are at the mercy of the court’s schedule.
No matter what the issues or the situation, having an experienced divorce attorney on your side can ensure that your divorce process goes as quickly as possible by ensuring that your filings are correct, speedily processed and help cooperate with all parties involved. At the Law Offices of Charles D Stark in Sonoma County, California you can expect top-notch legal assistance when it comes to all of your family law issues. Do not attempt to go through your divorce without proper guidance. Contact our law offices today for assistance, 707-527-9900. We are always here to help.