2024 How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?

2024 How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?

If you are a California resident and you or someone you know has been thinking about divorce, you may be wondering, “How long does a divorce take in California?” There are many things to take into consideration when debating divorce. Some couples may find that divorce isn’t the right path for them. Some couples may agree that divorce is the necessary path, and some couples may disagree. This can be a significant factor in the length of time it takes to divorce.

Qualifying for Divorce

The first thing to consider when deciding on divorce is who actually qualifies for a divorce in California. Under California state law, there are two residency requirements that must be met by at least one of the spouses.

  • One spouse must be a California resident for at least six months.
  • One spouse must be a resident of the county that they are filing for divorce in for at least three months.

Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce

Possibly the most influential factor in deciding the length of time it will take to finalize your divorce proceeding is the type of divorce that you file. Most divorces can either be contested or uncontested.

  • Contested divorce. A contested divorce occurs when spouses do not agree to the terms of the divorce. These can include topics such as child custody, child support, alimony payments, or property distribution. The case can last for as long as these issues remain unresolved. If spouses cannot come to an agreement, then a judge may decide on the issue. This process can take up to several years to resolve in some cases.
  • Uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce occurs when spouses agree to the terms of the divorce, and there are no major unresolved issues. These types of divorce proceedings can be resolved with relative speed and ease.

California Divorce Process

The process for filing a divorce in California generally includes:

  • Filing the divorce petition. This is done in your county of residence by filing with the superior court.
  • Serving the divorce papers. You can either serve the divorce papers yourself or have someone else who is at least 18 years old do it for you.
  • Wait for a response. The spouse who is served with the divorce papers has thirty days to file a response.
  • A settlement agreement can be submitted. This can be done if both parties sign and agree to the terms of the divorce.
  • The six-month waiting period begins. Divorcing spouses must wait at least six months before finalizing their divorce.
  • The divorce is finalized. After the six-month waiting period, the court can finalize the divorce.


Q: How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce If Both Parties Agree in California?

A: If both parties agree to a divorce in California, the divorce process can be relatively quick. The timeline will vary between divorce cases, depending on factors specific to each case. If both parties meet the state’s residency requirement, have the necessary paperwork filed appropriately, and complete the state’s mandatory waiting period, the divorce can be finalized immediately.

In general, an uncontested divorce can be resolved in as short as six months. The six-month time period is largely due to California’s mandatory waiting period.

Q: How Long Does the Average Divorce Take in California?

A: Most divorces in the state of California take anywhere from a few months to several years. The length of time it takes to process a divorce will largely depend on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. It should be noted that before their divorce can be finalized, divorcing couples in California must complete a mandatory six-month waiting period. This is true for all couples, no matter if their divorce is contested or not. You can expect most divorces to take at least six months.

Q: What Is the Fastest Way to Get a Divorce in California?

A: The fastest way to get a divorce in California is through an uncontested divorce. When both spouses agree to get divorced, the process can go much faster for each party. There are other items, such as child custody, spousal support, and property division, that must also be agreed upon in every divorce case. In an uncontested divorce, these issues are worked out by each party and then presented to a judge for approval. Uncontested divorces are faster and can be much less complex.

Q: What Is the Six-Month Rule for Divorce in California?

A: The six-month rule for divorce in California is a cooling-off period that is required for divorcing spouses. Under California state law, no couple can finalize the termination of their marriage without fulfilling this mandatory six-month period. Once you file for divorce, the court will require you to wait six months until you can finalize the divorce.

This six-month period is meant to give couples a last chance to possibly reconcile their differences. It’s important that each spouse cooperates with this waiting period.

Q: How Can a Divorce Lawyer Help?

A: A divorce lawyer can help by answering any questions that you may have and guiding you through the divorce process. The legal system in California can be complex and difficult to navigate on your own. There can be specific legal documents and strict legal deadlines that must be appropriately met.

A divorce lawyer can help ensure that you meet these necessary requirements. A lawyer can also provide you with the legal advice you need, and they can represent your interests in court if needed.

Contact the Carlos Navarrete Law Firm

Divorce can be a difficult process for all parties involved. It can become more complex if there are children involved or if there are substantial assets between spouses. No matter how complex the divorce is, it’s important that spouses can come to a fair resolution that is beneficial to both parties. A qualified divorce attorney can review your divorce case and help advise you on the necessary steps to get your case resolved.

At the Carlos Navarrete Law Firm, our legal team understands the complexities of divorce proceedings in California. Our firm has a demonstrated history of helping individuals all across the state with their divorce cases. Whether you have questions about divorce, child custody, spousal support, property distribution, or anything else relevant to a divorce case, you should contact our office today for help.

103 W. Grangeville Blvd
Hanford, CA 93230

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