Divorce Waiting Period in California

If you are seeking a divorce in the state of California, you may wonder how you long you would have to wait before the courts finalize the agreement. You may want to marry a new spouse as soon as the divorce goes through, or perhaps you wonder if there is any time to reconcile with your spouse. California has a 6-month waiting period, known as the “cooling off” period before a couple can formally end their marriage.

What Is the California Divorce Waiting Period?

When you file for divorce in California, you will need to wait through a 6-month period before the courts formally end your marriage. After this waiting period, you are free to remarry to whoever you choose and the state considers you a single person again. The courts have this period in place to give room for reconciliation between you and your spouse. During the waiting period, you can stop the divorce and return to your marriage without any issue.

The waiting period begins on the date of jurisdiction, which is the date on which you or your spouse acknowledges the receipt of the divorce paperwork. Six months and one day from this date is the earliest date the state can terminate your marriage. For example, if you serve your spouse with divorce paperwork on July 21st, the court can legally terminate your marriage on January 22nd.

Does Legal Separation Impact the Waiting Period?

Contrary to common belief, this waiting period does not have anything to do with legal separation. You and your spouse could be apart for years or even still be living together at the time you file for divorce. California does not require you to separate before you file for divorce, and the waiting period does not waiver based on the previous separation. If you wish to divorce as soon as possible, contact an attorney.

Can You Bypass the Waiting Period?

Unfortunately, you cannot bypass the divorce waiting period to remarry another person. The state will not terminate your marriage legally until the day after your 6-month waiting period ends. However, you can enter a judgment before the waiting period expires. Your divorce case can theoretically conclude within a couple of months of serving your spouse with divorce papers. However, you will remain legally married until after the waiting period.

How Does Reconciliation Work in the Waiting Period?

The state of California provides the waiting period so that couples who have second thoughts about their divorce have an opportunity to reconcile. If you and your spouse decide to remain legally married within the 6-month waiting period, you can file paperwork with the court to dismiss your divorce case. Both you and your spouse will need to agree to terminate your divorce filing in order to remain legally married past the waiting period.

Can You Expedite the Waiting Period Process?

The fastest way to expedite the waiting period for divorce is to serve your spouse with the paperwork as soon as possible, but filing for divorce can be a very complicated process in California. Many people can experience delays while filing for divorce due to errors in the paperwork, not being familiar with the divorce process, or not knowing how to answer a question.

In order to expedite the waiting period process, obtain the services of a California divorce attorney as possible. A divorce attorney at MTSA Law Group can provide numerous benefits for your divorce proceedings.

  • Your attorney will be very familiar with California divorce law and can complete your paperwork quickly, efficiently, and without errors.
  • Your attorney can represent your best interests in the divorce negotiations, helping you protect your financial assets and establish mutually beneficial custody agreements.
  • Your attorney can help you serve the divorce papers to your spouse and receive a signature to mark the date of jurisdiction.

California law requires you to wait six months before you can legally terminate your marriage to your spouse. Ensure you follow all necessary steps and file paperwork correctly by contacting a San Jose divorce lawyer.