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There is a timeline for divorce in California which begins once you have filed and served your divorce papers.  There are certain steps that need to happen before your marital status can be officially terminated.

6 Month Waiting Period in CA

A divorce in California will take at least 6 months, but could also take several years depending on the individuals involved. A simple, uncontested divorce will normally take 6 months to complete and is the soonest a couple can divorce, due to the mandatory waiting period in California. Seeking legal expertise from professional attorneys like Minella Law Group is always advisable, couples who are going through a divorce are advised to give mediation and or settlement a solid try before appearing before a judge. The reason is that when an authoritative entity enters into the situation, a substantial amount of control is given over to the court in the interest of having matters decided for you. Obviously, a settlement created by a judge may or may not create finality that you find satisfactory. If children are involved, there are added risks in giving over the control to a judge, and will be more difficult to adjust later and/or amend after your day in court.

Dissolution of Divorce

A Dissolution of divorce begins with the actual decision of becoming divorced. The petition for dissolution is prepared with the help of a capable attorney who prepared the petition detailing the way the divorce-seeking party would like to settle matters such as property, custody, and spousal support. The attorney then files the petition with the court and has the other party personally served. If the other party does not agree with the terms, they have 30 days to file a response to the petition. Before the settlement discussions can start, all financial documents and information referring to the case must be exchanged.  If the parties cannot settle their case, it will be set for trial.  Each party will present the evidence supporting their position in the divorce. Once the judge has heard all of the testimony, he or she will render a decision on how to settle the case. If one party of both parties are not satisfied with the terms set forth by the judge, it is possible to file an appeal.

Child Custody and Visitation

During a divorce, serious disagreements may arise over child custody that require experienced attorneys like Minella Law Group.  Child custody disputes must be dealt with prior to the case being finalized. If the parties cannot agree on custody, it is important to get started by filing a motion in court to have the child share plan decided. There could be other issues involved such as child support, spousal support, and attorney fees that also need to be decided. It can take months to participate in custody mediation and to ultimately get a decision from a judge, so it is best to start right away.

Finalizing your Divorce

Once all the issues have been resolved, the judgment will be submitted to court for review and filing.  The judge will review the judgment of dissolution to ensure that all terms are fair and that the paperwork is filled out properly.  The judge will sign and terminate your marital status restoring your single status.


Despite there being a timeline for divorce in California, your divorce does not have to drag on and on. The experienced staff at Minella Law Group can advise you of your rights and assist you making the divorce process as painless as possible.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, click the button below, or call us at 619-289-7948.  We look forward to helping you!