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Divorce Timeline and Process .

Get to know the California divorce timeline and process

A Petition and a Response

The first thing in the divorce timeline when you want to proceed with divorce is to file a petition with the court. The person who files the petition is the “petitioner” and the person who is served the petition is the “respondent.” The date the respondent receives the petition is called the “date of service”.
The minimum waiting period in a California divorce is six months
The date of service is important because it marks the beginning of the six-month waiting period required by the court before your status can be changed. The respondent has 30 days to file a response after the date they receive the petition.

A hearing will be scheduled as needed, and will be held sooner if there are pressing issues like support and custody disputes. If custody is an issue, the court will require custody mediation to be completed before the first hearing occurs. Once you have been notified of the custody mediation and the hearing date, you confirm with the court by calling to tell the clerk you will attend. If you do not attend the custody mediation, the court may order fines, sanctions, or orders against you.

Minimum Waiting Time for a California Divorce

California has a minimum six-month waiting period before the court can change your status from married to single. The six-month waiting period marks the earliest point at which your status can be changed. You cannot remarry or file taxes separately until the court has granted your request to change your status. Every divorce is unique and your case may or may not be resolved in six months. Simple cases may end up taking less than six months, while more complex divorces can take several years to complete.
The discovery process is an essential part of any divorce, ensuring all assets and debits are known so that an equal division can be agreed upon

Discovery of Assets and Marital Settlement Agreement

Both the petitioner and the respondent must provide certain documentation and answer questions as part of the discovery process. The purpose of the discovery is for you to learn about all the assets, debits and issues that must be divided and resolved to complete your divorce.

A marital settlement agreement is used to equally divide community property and outline child custody and support issues. If an agreement cannot be made, you will need to request the court set a trial so the judge can make the decision. In a California divorce, community property and obligations must be shared equally.
Property and debt division does not need to be an exact 50/50 split of each asset. As long as the division is equal, one party could take proceeds from the sale of a house while the other party could receive assets held in an investment account. Additionally, if one party takes a debt that belongs to both, that debt is deducted from the assets received by the other party.

Out of Court Settlement

If the parties are able to reach a settlement agreement it’s possible to complete your divorce without a court appearance and before six months have elapsed. However, you will still need to wait the entire six-month period before your divorce will be granted.

Long Beach Divorce Thorsteinson Law Group

3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 200
Long Beach, Ca. 90806

Phone: (562) 430-7676

Huntington Beach Divorce Thorsteinson Law Group

17011 Beach Blvd., Suite 900
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92647

Phone: (714) 375-6619