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

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.

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California divorce lawyerTo get a divorce in California, only one spouse needs to request it. California is a no fault divorce state, meaning one spouse can file for divorce citing irreconcilable differences, and the divorce will be granted. While most states have a no fault divorce option, some states allow parties to cite a reason for the marriage dissolution, such as infidelity or cruelty.

Because California allows for marriages to end without spouses giving a specific reason and based on one spouse’s desires alone, it is possible to divorce someone who you cannot locate. California law recognizes that due to the nature of divorces, a spouse may not know where to find the other spouse. Thus, California has a statutory procedure for serving court papers, when the address of the opposing party is unknown.

Service of Process Procedure

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Caifornia divorce attorneyIf you have already decided that you will proceed with mediation for the numerous benefits it offers, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. There are several ways our clients prepare for their mediation sessions.

  1. Reflect on why you want to mediate.

When you are setting out to prepare for mediation, it is important to keep in mind why you want to mediate. Perhaps mediation was your spouse’s idea, and you are not so sure about the process.

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Posted on in Mediation

California divorce lawyer, California family law attorneyDuring a divorce, it seems like the world collapses. Due to rampant negative feelings, each party becomes defensive and the “blame game” begins. If everyone remains too busy “protecting their assets” no one wins. Many couples must go before a judge to sort out the divorce details. The disadvantage with this methodology is that neither party has control over the outcome. A judge has a set of guidelines by which to adhere to divide your assets, your children, and in essence, your lives. An alternative solution that is increasing in popularity is divorce mediation.

Your’s Does Not Have to Be a Nightmare

Your divorce need not be the unpleasant experience many envision. The negative imagery remains fueled on by personal anecdotes from family members, friends, or co-workers. Remember that no two people are the same, therefore no marriage is the same, and by that measurement, no divorce is the same. Relationships are complicated and personal, and no one can accurately assess them but you and your spouse. Negotiation is possible if you would like to have a friendly divorce.

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California mediation attorney, California divorce lawyerDivorce mediation is an opportunity for you and your spouse to meet with a neutral third-party to assist in reaching an agreement with an issue regarding divorce arrangements. Mediation is an excellent opportunity as a divorce alternative with many unique benefits not available through traditional divorce litigation. However, in the complexity of the divorce environment, there are different methodologies to complete the same outcome (a divorce). Divorce mediation can originate through court mandated orders or through privately seeking legal counsel.

Private Mediation

Did you know that it is possible to divorce amicably? Rather than opting to go to court, which has the proclivity to become more like a battle ring, many couples now choose to seek other forms of divorce. One such option is divorce mediation. If requested on your fruition, this option avoids ever stepping foot into a courtroom, where, not only do you do not have any input on the outcome of the proceeding but the findings are available for everyone to search. Other benefits of privately seeking a mediator include:

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