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Are you contemplating a divorce in California and wondering how long the process might take? It’s a common question that many individuals face at the outset of their divorce. In this guide, we’ll explore the various factors that can influence the timeline of your divorce proceedings in California.

Types of Divorce in California

Contrary to popular belief, there are not just one, but two distinct types of divorce filings in California: the standard divorce and the lesser known “summary dissolution (aka divorce).” Let’s delve into each one to understand how they impact your divorce timeline.

Summary Divorce Timeline

A summary dissolution is a streamlined process designed for couples meeting specific criteria. To qualify, couples must:

– Have been married for five years or less.

– Have no children together.

– Waive spousal support.

– Have combined assets and debts below certain thresholds:

  – Total debt not exceeding $7,000.

  – No shared real estate.

  – Combined asset value not exceeding $53,000.

If you meet these criteria and can agree on all terms, congratulations! Your divorce could be finalized in approximately six months.

Standard Divorce Timeline

For the vast majority of couples, a standard dissolution is the path forward. However, the timeline for a standard dissolution is more variable and depends on numerous factors.

Factors Influencing Divorce Duration

1. **Mandatory Cooling-Off Period**:

Regardless of the type of divorce, California law mandates a six-month cooling-off period from the date of filing. This period allows couples to reconsider their decision and possibly reconcile.

2. **Case Complexity**:

The complexity of your case, including issues such as asset division, child custody, and spousal support, can significantly impact the timeline. More complex cases often take longer to resolve.

3. **Court Proceedings**:

Any motions or requests filed during the divorce process, such as requests for child custody or financial support, can prolong the proceedings. Each motion requires time for review and a court hearing, adding to the overall timeline.

4. **Financial Disclosures**:

Completing mandatory financial disclosures at the outset of your case is crucial. Failure to provide accurate financial information can delay the process. Working on your financial declarations early on can expedite proceedings.

Moving Forward with Divorce

While it’s challenging to predict the exact duration of your divorce, there are steps you can take to facilitate a smoother process. In our next installment, we’ll discuss strategies for navigating your divorce timeline thoughtfully and efficiently.

Stay tuned for more insights on managing the timeline of your divorce journey. You can listen further to this topic by tuning in to our podcast, or by watching the video.

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As a trial lawyer with fifteen years of experience, I can teach you how to think like a divorce lawyer, and I can teach you everything you need to know to navigate the divorce legal system in California.

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