How Long Will An Uncontested California Divorce Take?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Top Orange County divorce mediators; California divorce mediatorsDuration and expense are the two major factors of a divorce that largely depend on the level of agreement that the involved parties have with each other. The more disputes and conflicts you have with your partner, the longer and costlier your divorce will be. It is, therefore, advisable to minimize your disagreements with your spouse, and try to reach an amicable and mutually agreed upon settlement for the various aspects of a divorce such as custody, property division, and visitation. Let us have look at the various factors in an uncontested divorce that might influence the time taken to reach a final verdict.

Reaching an agreement

The first obvious factor that influences the duration of an uncontested divorce is how long the parties take to reach a final agreement. In a bid to speed up the process multiple times, it is advisable to create and sign a marital settlement agreement well in advance before you go ahead with filing a petition in the court of law. While typically the partners begin negotiating an agreement only after they have filed for a divorce, it is easier if you resolve your disputes ahead of time and eliminate the chances of wasting several months in delaying litigation-related activities such as exchanging documents, discovery, property appraisals or custody evaluations. 

Waiting periods

The state of California makes it mandatory for all couples, who have filed for a divorce in the court, to wait for a period of six months from the date of the petition before they can be granted a final separation. The purpose of imposing this compulsory waiting period is to ensure that both the parties have ample time to ruminate over their decision and make up their mind that they are ready to take the big plunge. The spouses can also use this time to negotiate a working settlement if they do not already have one. 

Litigation process

The final court proceedings can take anywhere between four to twelve weeks and even more, depending on the complexity of the specific case. The court trial will include the arguments of both the parties, witness testimonies, and rebuttals against any accusation that a spouse might wish to refute as inaccurate. After taking all evidence into consideration, the judge will announce his/her final decision.

The bottom-line is, that if you want your divorce to get finalized as soon as possible you must try and work out a mutual agreement with your spouse and try to keep things simple.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation