How long does it take to get a divorce in California? 11 Answers as of January 19, 2011

How long does it take to get a divorce in California and do you have to get a lawyer?

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Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
Six months and one day is the soonest you can have a divorce Judgment entered which would terminate the status of your marriage. You do not need to hire an attorney to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or obtain a Judgment. However, there are a few complicated issues which may be difficult to do without an attorney, including the filling-out and exchange of the disclosure documents.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/19/2011
Saddleback Law Center
Saddleback Law Center | Paris Kalor
It takes six months and one day from the date the other party was served with the summons and petition for divorce, if there are no issues. As far as the lawyer, it all depends how complex you case is and how agreeable or disagreeable the parties are.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/7/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
It takes six months from the date the "respondent" is "served" with the dissolution petition before the court will enter final judgment of dissolution. As for whether you need a lawyer, there is no requirement to have a lawyer to get divorced. However, it is a very good idea to have a lawyer to make sure your rights are properly protected and that you get the desired results from your divorce. Think of it this way: there is requirement to see a doctor when you have a broken bone, or other major health problem. Yet, prudent people (those who want the best chance for a good outcome), hire professional help on important issues, such as legal or medical matters.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/6/2011
Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law
Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law | Matthew E. Lax
It takes 6 months minimum for the court to grant a judgment of divorce in California. In terms of hiring an attorney, you don't need to hire one but it is advisable to hire one if you need a divorce done as quickly as possible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/6/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
The soonest you could possibly be granted a divorce in California would be six (6) months from the date that the Petition and Summons are served on the Respondent. However, it is unlikely that the divorce process would be completed that quickly unless the parties agree as to the resolution of all issues, exchange their requisite Declarations of Disclosure, and cooperate in expediting the resolution process, but be aware that it takes some time, varying from Court to Court,for the Court to process even a Stipulated Judgment. If there are disputed issues, it usually takes quite a bit longer to resolve the case. If you are in a rush to dissolve your marriage, you could seek a bifurcated judgment on marital status, reserving the balance of issues for further trial, but there are "dues" to pay for bifurcating marital status which may make doing so unpalatable. You don't have to get a lawyer in a divorce case, but you would be far better off if you retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to handle the case,advise you of your options and their consequences, assist you in making informed decisions,resolve issues through negotiation or litigation, and move the case along to its conclusion.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/5/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    A divorce can be done within a few months if both parties cooperate with the process. However, your marital status won't change from married to single until 6 months have passed from the date the petition was filed. I have had many amicable divorces that were completed within 3 months. Typically, I represent one spouse, and the other is unrepresented. I then walk them through the steps that need to be completed. If there is any property or children involved, I would recommend hiring an attorney. If you have any further questions, please let me know.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    It typically takes 2 months to a year to complete a divorce. It is not necessary to have an attorney although that is often a very sound idea.

    Moreover, in California it will be at least 6 months before you are single. If you complete the process in a couple months you will have a waiting period before you can marry again.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    Six months is the shortest period. No one has to have an attorney. But beware, the court system is very complicated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2011
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    California has a waiting period or "cooling off" period of six months before a Court will finalize your divorce. The minimum amount of time then is at least six months from the date of when the other spouse is served with the divorce papers, but depending on your particular circumstances, a divorce proceeding can take much longer, even years to finalize.

    You do not have to get a lawyer to get a divorce, and many people in California will represent themselves in their own divorce. However, depending on the issues in your case and the complexity of your assets, you may need a lawyer to represent you to get a fair result. Our office offers a free initial consultation if you would like to discuss your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    It is at least 6 months.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/5/2011
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