• understanding 6 month waiting period for divorce

The 6 Month Waiting Period for Divorce in California

The following will offer a better understanding about the 6 month waiting period as it pertains to people filing for divorce in California.

The 6 month waiting period which is also described as the “cooling off “ period is the time set by California statute before a marriage is formally terminated and the parties are allowed to remarry. This period of time is the amount of time the courts want to pass to allow a party to stop the California divorce process and reconcile, should they want to do so.

Key Points to California’s Waiting Period

A married couple does not have to be separated six months before filing a California divorce. There is no separation requirement for people filing divorce, and in many instances, a couple may still be living together when they file the divorce proceeding.
A couple can file and complete a divorce prior to expiration of the 6 month waiting period. In many cases, the final Judgment is submitted long before the expiration of the waiting period. In some of our cases, the final Judgment has been processed as early as 45 days after the date the divorce was filed. Some courts process final Judgments within 1 to 2 weeks from submitting the Judgment. Other courts may take substantially longer to process the final Judgment.
The 6 month waiting period determines the earliest date the marriage is considered legally terminated and allows either party the freedom to remarry. In the California divorce process, the earliest date a marriage can be terminated is 6 months PLUS 1 days after the date of service.
The 6 month waiting period starts from the date of service of the divorce paperwork. The date of service is the date the non-filing party receives or acknowledges receipt of the divorce Petition. This service date could even be the same day the divorce is filed. For example, if a divorce Petition was filed on April 15th, and the documents served on the other party that same day, the 6 month waiting period and earliest termination date of the marriage would be October 16th. However, if the documents were not served on the other party until May 20th, the earliest termination date of the marriage would be November 21st. For this reason, if you want to complete the divorce as quickly as possible, it is important to get the other party served right away. This will start the clock ticking towards the final date of the 6 month waiting period.
If parties decide to reconcile within the 6 month waiting period, they can file paperwork with the court to dismiss their divorce case. If a final Judgment has already been entered and a termination date of marriage established (but the termination date has not yet passed), filing a dismissal, in effect, extinguishes the pending termination of their marriage. Both parties would need to agree to dismiss the case to extinguish a pending termination date in a divorce.
When you choose A People’s Choice to help with your divorce proceedings, you can be assured that your final judgment will be entered as soon as possible.

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By | 2018-01-18T15:47:38+00:00 April 26th, 2015|Family Law|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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