2024 How To Get A Quick Divorce in California?

By Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP | Jan 20, 2024

Unfortunately, not every marriage lasts forever. If you are in need of a quick divorce, you are most likely searching the internet for information on paperwork, division of property, spousal support, and child custody. If all the details of the process have left you feeling overwhelmed, know that you do not have to face it alone. Having an experienced California divorce lawyer on your side will not only speed up your divorce but also take a bit of stress out of the process.

While a divorce can take time, there are ways to speed up the process. An uncontested divorce is the quickest end to a marriage partnership in the state of California. For a divorce to be uncontested, all parties must agree on the conditions of the divorce, including division of property, spousal support, and child custody.

An uncontested divorce can be completed in as little as six months. Every situation is different, though, and your California divorce lawyer will walk you through the process to ensure you take the right course of action for your divorce.

What Is the Process of an Uncontested Divorce in California?

Before you can start the process of a divorce in California, you or your spouse must meet residency requirements. This means that either you or your spouse has been a resident of the state of California for at least six months before you file. Also, either you or your spouse must have lived in the county in which you are filing for at least three months.

Since California holds to a no-fault divorce system, you will not have to meet certain grounds or prove wrongdoing by your spouse to be granted a divorce. When you are ready to file, there are a few steps you will need to follow.

Step One: File a Divorce Petition. You cannot file for divorce without submitting the necessary paperwork. You will need to submit a Form FL-100, Petition for Dissolution, and Form LF-110, Summons, to your local court. If you have children with your spouse, there may be additional paperwork for you to file.

Step Two: Serve the Divorce Papers. This is something you can do on your own, or you may have someone else do it for you as long as they are 18 years or older. Whoever is serving your spouse the papers will need to file a Form FL-115, Proof of Service of Summons. It is important to confirm that your spouse receives these documents to file their response.

Step Three: File a Response. Your spouse must file a response to these papers within a 30-day window. If they do not respond, the court could issue a default judgment. Your divorce will be officially filed by the court once you have served the papers and your spouse has responded, or either of you files an Appearance, Stipulation, and Waver.

Step Four: Submit a Settlement Agreement. If both parties approve of the divorce settlement terms, you may submit a signed settlement agreement. Completing this settlement quickly helps to keep the process as short as possible. A California divorce lawyer can help you settle these terms in as little time as possible.

Step Five: The Waiting Period. The state of California has a six-month waiting period for a divorce to be complete. This waiting period starts on the date the divorce papers are filed. If both parties agree to move forward with the divorce by the end of the six-month period, the process reaches the final stage.

Step Six: Final Judgement and Termination. The court reviews the settlement agreement once the six-month waiting period is over. If the agreement is approved, you will enter the final judgment of the divorce. This judgment is issued by the court and outlines the division of assets, custody agreements, and any other terms deemed necessary.

While an amicable divorce where both parties come to a reasonable agreement on the terms of the divorce is ideal, this is not always the case. Because of this, the judgment of the court can be issued through two other processes:

  • If your spouse does not respond within the allotted time after you serve them divorce papers, the court may issue a default judgment.
  • If both parties are not able to successfully negotiate the terms of the divorce settlement, the court may issue judgment at the conclusion of a trial.


Q: What Is the Quickest Way To Get a Divorce in California?

A: The quickest and least expensive way to get a divorce in California is to have an uncontested divorce. This means that both parties are amicable and able to reach a reasonable agreement on the terms of the divorce. The process can take much longer if one or both parties are unwilling to come to an agreement.

Q: How Fast Is an Uncontested Divorce in California?

A: An uncontested divorce in California can take as little as six months from the date the divorce petition is filed with the court. Once you have filed the petition, you will then serve the papers to your spouse. They will file a response, and you will both submit your settlement agreement. Once this is done, you will enter the waiting period. At the end of this period, the court will issue a judgment and termination.

Q: Can You Get a Divorce Faster Than 6 Months in California?

A: California has a six-month waiting period rule, and because of this, it takes a minimum of six months for a divorce to be official. This waiting period begins on the day you file the petition for divorce in court. Once this period is over and the court has issued final judgments and granted termination, you will be legally divorced.

Q: What Is the 5-Year Rule for Divorce in California?

A: If a divorce case remains unresolved for five years in California, the case will expire, and the divorce will not become legal. This can happen when the parties involved fail to come to an agreement on the settlement terms of the divorce. It can also be caused by one party contesting the divorce. If the case expires, you will need to start the process from the beginning.

Having a California Divorce Lawyer Can Simplify Your Divorce

We understand that there are numerous steps, forms, and requirements for divorce in California. This can make seeking a divorce seem daunting, especially if your forms are not submitted correctly or on time. Our attorneys at Quinn & Dworakowski, LLP, are here to help you. We will work hard to ensure the process of your divorce goes as smoothly as possible. If you are ready to take the first step in your divorce, contact us today to see how we can help.

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