Divorce laws in California: Q&A

How much time does the divorce process take?

At least 6 months should pass either since the date when respondent received the summons and the petition for the dissolution of marriage, or since the date when the respondent made appearance.

Can I get a divorce within a period less than 6 months?

If both spouses agree to the divorce terms before the end of waiting period, they can draw up a divorce agreement and obtain a bill of divorce, but they will not be identified as divorced until the 6-month period expires. The parties will have the bill of divorce in advance, where the divorce date will be attached to the future.

What should I do after receiving a statement of claim for divorce?

If you received a statement of claim for divorce, your response should be submitted within 30 days. The response is a paper that shows that you are interested in the divorce proceedings, i.e. you want to be apprised of all the dates when you have to be present in court, that you will participate in the lawsuit by court appearance to expedite the judicial decision.

What if I leave the response to the claim for divorce unsubmitted?

If the response is not exhibited in court, the decision will be issued without your participation, i.e. according to the statement of the adverse party. Therefore, if the case involves property or children, it is reasonable to send a response.

Divorce and separation: what is the difference?

The first difference is that the adjudication of the separation does not break off the marital status (i.e. none of the parties will not be allowed to get married again until the marriage is ended with divorce, or death of a spouse.) Usually people get a separation agreement, when they cannot get a divorce for religious or personal reasons. Also, there is no “waiting period” in separation lawsuit. The decision of separation can be obtained very quickly, though if one of the spouses does not want to get separation, the decision of separation is impossible obtain.)

Separation does not break off the marital status.

Separation does not break off the marital status.

We gоt married outside of California. Can I get a divorce in CA?

Yes, you can. But you should take into consideration one nuance: to have the right get a divorce, one of the spouses must have been living for 6 months in CA and for at least 3 months in the county where the claim was initiated. If you have just moved to this state and you would like get a quick divorce, talk to California lawyers, as there are some legitimate “back-channels”.

An order to show cause, what is it?

Order to show cause (OSC) is an request for a court hearing. To make such an request you should provide certain papers. In the submitted papers, you ask for a specific temporary solution concerning the particular issue. This decision will be valid until the next or final decision of the court. Usually such decisions are requested when children involved and there are such issues as child’s place of residence, child support, visiting rights. The judge will decide if your request should be complied.