Standardized Divorce In California
Understanding the process of a standardized divorce in California will help you better navigate your situation. California courts have specific requirements for taking a divorce from beginning to end. Although this typically only applies to cases where no assets, debts, children, or spousal support are involved, it makes the process simpler for those that meet relevant criteria.
The first step is filing a petition, followed by preliminary declarations of disclosure, a formal requirement in California. Next, the parties in the marriage must disclose all assets and debts, whether they are community or separate property. Finally, this information is sent to the other party, regardless of the type of marriage or divorce.
The final steps of the process depend on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. In uncontested situations, after preliminary declarations of disclosure, the parties agree to a settlement or stipulated judgment that specifies the disposition of anything related to the marriage. The most basic process is filing a petition, property declarations, and a judgment. However, the middle part of the process can vary greatly depending on the parties’ circumstances. Access to professional help is essential to understand your situation’s next steps.
Settling Peripheral Matters To A Divorce
Divorce cases often involve various peripheral matters such as child custody, child support, spousal support, division of assets, and claims for attorney’s fees. These issues do not necessarily have to be settled at the same time and can instead be resolved in a piecemeal fashion. Parties may agree on some aspects but not others, allowing them to focus their efforts on the contested issues.
Nevertheless, it is ideal to resolve all issues simultaneously to achieve a global resolution for the divorce case. When parties cannot agree on certain aspects, the case can become protracted, leading to further entrenchment and frustration. This can result in higher costs and dissatisfaction with the process.
Waiting Periods And California Divorce
The State of California mandates a six-month waiting period for a divorce. This law intends to allow for parties to reconcile rather than continue with the divorce. Unfortunately, it is rare for couples to file for divorce and then decide to reconcile after a few months. Although it does happen, it is usually due to external factors that impact the couple’s decision to proceed with the divorce.
Despite the waiting period, some couples can resolve all aspects of their marriage through mutual agreement, which is admirable. However, although such couples may complete all procedural requirements and reach a stipulated agreement, they still have to wait for the court to declare them no longer legally married by single, which takes five months and 27 days.
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Fast-Tracking A California Divorce
Although California does not have any way to fast-track divorce cases, there are certain circumstances where the court will prioritize a case and move it along faster than the standard process. These priorities include severe health issues that may result in a party passing away during the proceedings, such as stage four liver cancer. Additionally, the court may prioritize cases involving elderly individuals, usually 70 years or older, with health conditions affecting their ability to participate in the normal process, such as dementia. In such cases, the parties can file specific motions with the court to receive priority. The only way a case can be expedited is if the parties reach an agreement on the issues.
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