WHAT'S THE 6-MONTH COOLING-OFF PERIOD IN CALIFORNIA?
Answers from a pasadena divorce attorney!
What is the 6-month cooling-off period of a divorce? In California, the earliest a marriage can be dissolved is six months after one spouse serves the Petition on the other. (Read this article on: How to serve divorce papers in California ) In other words, six months is the very quickest time a marriage can be dissolved in California.
Why is there a 6-months cooling-off period in California?
The six months cooling-off period in California allows couples to change their minds and reconcile. It takes six months because the court wants to ensure that a divorce is the only outcome a spouse desires, with no chance of reconciliation. Remember, California is a No-fault State. You can get divorced even if the other person doesn’t want it, and you don’t have to prove someone did something wrong.
Is There A Way to Be Divorced before 6 Months in California?
Couples often wonder if they can be divorced sooner than six months since they are not battling each other and are working amicably together to resolve their divorce. The answer is no. There is no way to circumvent the 6-month cooling-off period in California, but keep in mind that it can also take longer than six months to get divorced in California.
How Can You Be Divorced before 6 Months in California?
Legally, you cannot be divorced before 6 months in California. However, if all the divorce paperwork is completed properly, including (the judgment packet), you may submit it to the courthouse. In that case, the judge determines when it will be 6 months from the date when you served the divorce papers. Read: (How to Properly Serve Divorce Papers in California). The judge then inserts that date onto the judgment, indicating when the marriage will be dissolved as of that 6-month date. Think of it as post-dating a check and writing a future date on the check, which indicates when the check can be deposited, a judge can post-date the judgment indicating when the marriage will officially be dissolved.
Are you Automatically Divorced After 6 Months in California?
The 6-month cooling-off period is the minimum time a divorce takes to dissolve in California. However, this does NOT mean that after 6 months, the court will automatically finalize the divorce if you don’t complete the required steps.
Unfortunately, some couples mistakenly believe that after 6 months, they are automatically divorced, and they begin to live their lives like single people, they might even get remarried. Believing you’re divorced when you aren’t can result in serious legal and personal dilemmas. To be legally (officially divorced), one spouse MUST complete, serve and file the proper sets of documents and MAKE SURE that the judge signs a final judgment divorcing them. If the paperwork is incorrectly done, it can result in a rejection of their judgment and mandate unnecessary court appearances.