Deciding to get a divorce is a long and emotional decision. It should not happen overnight, and rest assured the divorce will certainly not take place overnight. It will be a lengthy and strenuous process that could take months or years to finalize. Many factors, personal and financial, have to be considered. No two divorces are ever the same. Each one has unique factors and contributing elements that make that particular divorce one of a kind. On top of this, laws are different for each state, and the amount of time it takes to dissolve a marriage can differ depending on your location. For example, a fort collins family law lawyer may be able to get the divorce proceedings completed much sooner than a California lawyer because the laws and paperwork required are different.
There are many arduous steps along the way to a divorce. Each of these steps must be handled with realistic goals in mind. Webb & Bordson, APC wants to remind you that no matter the heartache, each step must be completed and finalized with extreme care, and with your best interests at hand. You have to consider a few of the steps that could be involved in the process, such as:
- Selling the family home
- Division of assets and debts
- Schooling for children
- Trust funds
- Insurance policies
- Obligations of bills and reoccurring payments such as tuition
- Travel with the children (restrictions and allowances)
- Child custody and visitation
- Child holiday schedule
- Child support payments
- Business divisions and duty assignments
- Income tax dispersions and obligations
- Prenuptial considerations
- County and State laws concerning divorce
This is just a small sampling of the items that need to be considered when proceeding with a divorce.
Setting aside all of the above facets, and looking at the time a divorce could take in California will reveal that the minimum time required by state law is six months and one day. This time period does not begin to tick until the Court takes jurisdiction over the responding spouse, which is when the responding spouse is served or appears in the action. There is no way that you can shorten or abbreviate this six-month time period requirement.
The California residency requirement states that at least one member must have lived in California for at least six months, and must have lived for at least three months in the county he or she plans on filing the divorce paperwork in.
Other factors that may influence the amount of time it takes to get divorced include the county in which you file and the department your case is assigned to. Some counties are able to process dissolution judgments in as little as four to six weeks, whereas others take up to nine months.
Remarriage and Taxes: Tread Carefully
If you or the other party insists on speed for remarriage purposes, important considerations need to be made. Speed and shoddy work due to haste have created many bad divorce agreements. By California law, you cannot remarry anyhow without being granted legal single status by the judge. Take a deep breath and confer frequently with your legal team. If you feel rushed by the other person, ask for a break in the proceeding or ask for a few days to gather your thoughts. The time that it takes to get a quality divorce is relative to the individual and personal facets of the two parties.
In addition to this California caveat about remarriage, each party needs to be fully aware that in the state of California, neither party can file a single status tax return until the court has granted the divorce. Even then, there may be rulings about that year’s filing and that year’s refund or payment owed.
How to Divorce in the Minimum Amount of Time in California
A contentious and ugly divorce is going to take longer than the six months the state requires. If your goal is to be harmful and vindictive to the other person, you can expect a long court battle. It is imperative that every attempt is made to be open, polite, and remain business like. If the dialogue is open between the two parties, then the process will move along, as it should.
Webb & Bordson, APC is available to help you through this tough time. Do not attempt to handle these legal divorce matters yourself. You must have expert legal advice. Please keep in mind that the more assets involved in the process will probably equal a longer divorce process.
Each and every asset and concern needs to be explored, no matter how badly or quickly you want the divorce finalized. If you carelessly approach the situation, the results can be catastrophic.
Wasted Time is Money
While using a level head and practical approach, confer with your legal team and work your way through each factor and facet in the divorce. If you have unrealistic expectations and/or demands you are going to be in court trying to unravel this mess. More court time is going to mean more costs. Keep a level head and keep in mind what your ultimate goal is. Your time should be spent on working through the matter in a business like approach, not wading through legal chaos.
Before You Marry
It would behoove you and your partner to consider all of these facets when you are considering a marriage. This is not a negative approach, but a realistic approach to marriage. If substantial assets are involved, you need to enter into a prenuptial agreement that will protect both parties. You must utilize an expert legal team such as Webb & Bordson, APC to build this quality asset protection. Spend the six months up front covering all your bases to protect yourself, so you do not have to spend six months or more suffering through the dissolution process.
The hope, of course, is that your union is a joyous occasion that lasts many wonderful years. No one wants to plan for a divorce, but it is just smart business to always protect yourself as well as your finances.