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How long does it take to get a divorce in Orange County, California?

If you are getting a divorce in Orange County, California, then you are not alone.  Orange County has one of the highest divorce rates in the United States, where an average of 33 people file for divorce every single day.  If you are considering ending your marriage, you most likely have many concerns. You may feel that you desperately need to break free to preserve your mental health, happiness, family, and finances.  However, divorces are not finalized instantly.  There is a specific legal process and rules to follow before a divorce can be final.  How long it will take to be granted a divorce in Orange Country will depend on various factors, but it will take a minimum of 6 months.  

California Has a Mandatory Waiting Period 

All of the individual states pass laws and regulations regarding the marriage and divorce of their citizens.  California’s marriage and family laws are quite distinct.  Of particular significance,  

California law has a “waiting period” of six months to get a divorce.  The state legislature has passed this law for people to have significant time to contemplate ending their marriage. The reasoning is that a marriage should not be rushed into, and neither should ending a marriage be rushed into.  

Additionally, something beneficial may come out of the waiting period.  For instance, the spouses could come to a reconciliation and decide to stay together.  Alternatively, the couple might work together to resolve all their divorce issues (such as alimony, child custody, etc.) and avoid going to trial.  While this waiting period rule sounds reasonable in theory, many people will feel frustrated when they learn they will have to wait to be divorced.  

How Long An Orange County Divorce Will Take Depends on Many Factors

The waiting period law means that the quickest divorce will still take six months. However, it is important to remember that most Orange County divorces will take longer than six months to process.  Many high-conflict and contested divorce cases can even take years before they are completely finalized. 

Every marriage is different, and every divorce case is unique.  As such, the length of time for obtaining a divorce decree will vary based on numerous factors.  For instance, a couple with an uncontested divorce will take a shorter time to finalize than a contested divorce.  Some factors that can affect how long a divorce will take include the following:

  • The couple shares minor children, and there are issues of child custody, visitation, and child support
  • It is a high-wealth marriage, including numerous assets, property, or debts
  • There is a prenuptial agreement, or there are issues regarding the validity of the prenup
  • There is a history of domestic violence, or there are allegations of domestic violence
  • There are issues regarding the physical health, mental health, or stability of one of the parties

It is always recommended to consult with a family law attorney before deciding to file for divorce.

Seek out an Orange County Divorce Attorney

Divorce is difficult to go through, and under California law, it takes a minimum of six months before you can be legally single again.  Consult today with an attorney if you are contemplating a divorce in Orange County.  Having the right lawyer by your side can help make the legal process faster and smoother.  

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