Family Law – Frequently Asked Questions
Here we answer some questions that our clients frequently ask us in regards to divorce and other family law matters:
1. How long does a divorce take in California?
A divorce in California always takes a minimum of 6 months. This period is designed and implemented to make sure the parties want to get a divorce and that will not reconcile. A divorce can not be finalized until the divorce is finalized in court.
2. Is there a way to by-pass the 6 month waiting period?
No. A divorce process must go through the mandatory 6 month period. Even if the parties have all matters of the divorce settled between them, the 6 month period must run. The parties can prepare and finalize a divorce judgment and/or stipulations agreed to between the parties, however the 6 month period must pass.
3. What is the difference between divorce and legal separation?
There is no waiting period or residency requirement in a legal separation, however both parties must agree to the terms. All assets are divided, spousal and child support, if any, is ordered, custody and visitation issues are resolved, and a divorce is entered at the end of the 6 month period, however it does not amount to a divorce.
4. Can I prevent my spouse from getting a divorce if I do not want one?
No. Anyone can get a divorce in California at any time. If one spouse objects to the divorce and the other does not, the court will still grant the divorce on the ground of “irreconcilable differences.”
5. How much does a divorce attorney cost? Is getting a divorce expensive?
Each case is different. There is no way to estimate or give a flat rate for a divorce. Typically the amount a divorce attorney costs will depend on the complication of your divorce. For example, child custody or asset divisions between parties are the more costly matters to resolve in a divorce proceeding.
6. Can I get a divorce without going to court?
If both parties can agree on all issues pertaining to the divorce, litigation can be avoided. The parties can have an attorney draft a divorce judgment and stipulations, and have it signed by both parties.