California divorce waiting period

The six month waiting period is also described as the “cooling off“ period for divorce in California. More specifically, this is the time set by California statute before a marriage is formally terminated. Only after this date may the parties legally remarry. Additionally, the courts use this period of time to allow parties to stop the California divorce process and reconcile, should they so choose.

Key Points to Understand About The California Divorce Six Month Waiting Period

Believe it or not, a married couple does NOT have to be separated six months before filing a California divorce. In fact, there is no separation requirement for people filing divorce. 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 six month waiting period. In fact, in many cases, the court submits the final judgment long before the expiration of the waiting period. At times, the court may even process the final judgment as early as 45 days after the couple files!

While some courts process final judgments within one to two weeks of submission, others may take substantially longer.

The six month waiting period determines the earliest date of the legal termination of marriage. Additionally, it allows either party the freedom to remarry. In the California divorce process, the earliest date a marriage can be terminated is six months PLUS one day after the date of service.
The six month waiting period starts on the date of service of the divorce paperwork. More specifically, the date of service is the date the non-filing party receives or acknowledges receipt of the divorce petition. In fact, this service date could even be the same day the divorce is filed.

For example, if a party filed the divorce petition on April 15th, and served the documents on their partner that same day, the six month waiting period and earliest termination date of the marriage would be October 16th. However, if the party did not serve the documents 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, be sure to serve your partner right away.

If parties decide to reconcile within the six month waiting period, they can file paperwork with the court to dismiss their divorce case. Furthermore, even if the court has already entered a final judgment and established a marriage termination date, filing a dismissal extinguishes the pending termination. However, keep in mind that this is only true if the termination date has not yet passed. Also, both parties must agree to case dismissal to extinguish a pending termination date in a divorce.

When you choose A People’s Choice to help with your divorce proceedings, we can assure you that your final judgment will be entered as soon as possible. Call us today at 800-747-2780.

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