How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in California if it is Uncontested?

Posted in California,Divorce,Divorce Mediation,Family Code,Spousal Support on January 27, 2024

Beginning the divorce process can either feel like a commitment to an ultramarathon where the finish line is nowhere in sight or a short sprint to the completion of the journey of marriage. An uncontested divorce provides an avenue of avoiding drawn-out, complicated processes in favor of a more straightforward way of dissolving a marriage for partners who agree to the essential terms of a divorce. A Solana Beach divorce may provide an excellent avenue for divorce when partners can work together to determine the decisions affecting a divorce outcome.

Timeline for an Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce means that a couple has decided to dissolve the marriage, and the terms set in the divorce decree are undisputed by either party, removing the need for a judge to make the ruling. Even the most amicable partners may struggle with these vital decisions that impact life in significant ways. A judge will review the couple’s decisions on the following issues and can require a hearing if the agreement is unfair to a spouse concerning:

  • Division of assets and debts
  • Division of savings and retirement funds
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal support, if it is necessary

A reasonably constructed agreement will only require a judge’s signature before it is returned by mail. California law requires a six-month waiting period (Cal Fam Code §2339) from the time the papers are filed until the final dissolution of the marriage. There are specific requirements to meet, and accurate filing will prevent delays.

Steps in an Uncontested Divorce

Either spouse must have lived in California for the previous six months before filing and in the county where you currently reside for at least the past three months. Speak with a divorce attorney in Solana Beach for assistance in the divorce process if you are a same-sex couple who has moved to another state that does not recognize the dissolution of marriage. If you have a domestic partner and are unsure if you meet the residency requirements, we can help.

File the Appropriate Paperwork

Paperwork must be filed in the jurisdiction where you live. Failing to fill out and submit the forms correctly can impede the process. There are fees associated with filing.

The petition must be legally served to the respondent or spouse in the marriage. They will have up to 30 days to respond to the petition. A default divorce occurs when the spouse fails to respond.

Begin the Waiting Period

The six-month waiting period begins once the paperwork has been signed. At this time, a couple will start drafting the written divorce agreement. California divides assets equally between the individuals, and the agreement is subject to review.

Finalization of an Uncontested Divorce

A judge will then approve the agreement, or a summons can be sent for a couple to appear in court. Working with a lawyer in Solana Beach is beneficial even when partners work together amicably but strive to avoid errors. With everything in place, the six months will be completed successfully.

Contact a Solana Beach Divorce Attorney

There are numerous benefits to working with a Solana Beach divorce attorney. Seeking legal guidance is not always about mitigating disagreement but ensuring a more seamless process to the dissolution of marriage. Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your uncontested divorce with our team at Ratzer|Dobis, focusing 100% on California family law.