Call for a free initial consultation
Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Offering Limited Scope Service
Mediation and Litigation

How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Divorce in California?

Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos summary divorce attorneyOnce you have made the difficult decision to file for divorce, you probably want to complete the process as quickly as possible. Below are a few facts to help you understand the timeline for a California divorce:

Residency Requirements for Divorce

Before you can get a divorce in California, you must have been a resident of the state for at least six months, and a resident of the county in which you file for divorce for at least three months.

Waiting Period After Filing for a California Divorce

The first step in the divorce process is for one spouse to file a petition for dissolution of marriage in their county court. The petition must then be served upon the other spouse. California law requires that a minimum of six months pass between the date when the petition was served on the other spouse and the termination date of the marriage.

Note that the court proceedings may be completed in less than six months if the parties to the divorce are able to reach agreement on all issues (e.g., division of property and child custody). A judgment of divorce could be signed by the court within, the six month waiting period after the petition for divorce was served. Nonetheless, the termination date of the marriage must still be at least six months after the petition service date.

It is also possible for the settlement process to take a year or more if the spouses struggle to reach agreement on parenting issues or property division. To minimize the chances of a long, drawn-out court process, consider opting for divorce mediation.

Even a Summary Divorce Has a Six-Month Waiting Period

A summary dissolution sometimes is possible when a couple has not been together very long (less than five years), has no children under the age of majority, and has no significant debts or assets. In a summary dissolution, the parties file jointly for the divorce. While the process is obviously faster and easier than a high-asset divorce involving children, the waiting period is still six months. In this case, the six-month period begins on the date the joint petition for dissolution is filed with the court.

Consult a Los Gatos, CA Divorce Lawyer

An experienced Los Gatos divorce attorney can help you resolve the issues of your divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible. At the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca, we have been advocating for clients in Santa Clara County for 40 years. Contact us at 408-395-8822 for a free initial consultation.


Google Map Marker

Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

Phone Icon

Call us for a free initial consultation


Conveniently located in downtown los gatos and
close to highway 280, 85 & 880


Back to Top