Ending your marriage is stressful, which is why many couples who file for divorce in Pasadena wonder how long it will take their divorce to be finalized.
Assuming all of the needed documents have been filed and your spouse is not objecting to the divorce, a California divorce settlement can be finalized in six months and one day. It's impossible for the judge to sign the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage until at least six months have passed from when the Summons and Petition for Dissolution of Marriage were filed.
The six month guideline serves as a "cooling off" period for divorcing couples in California. It might seem hard to believe, but there have been multiple cases where a couple has decided not to go through with their divorce after all. People sometimes file after a serious disagreement, then come to terms with the issue without the need to end their marriage.
Even if the couple is certain they want to go through with the divorce and they reach a settlement that is mutually agreeable before the six month mark, they still have to wait to have the judge sign the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage. Neither party is allowed to remarry until the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage has ended the marriage.
If a couple doesn't agree on issues such as child custody or the division of assets, they can ask for a bifurcation of the case. This means that the divorce will be granted, but the judge will rule on the disputed issues at a later date. A bifurcation of divorce allows the parties to remarry or to file their income taxes as single taxpayers. Depending upon the case, however, the judge may have conditions such as requiring one spouse to continue to maintain health insurance coverage for the other.
It is perfectly understandable to be hoping that your divorce will be finalized in a timely manner. Your Pasadena divorce attorney will explain how long you can expect to wait until your divorce is finalized.