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How long does it take to get a divorce?

In California, you will need to wait at least six months after serving your spouse with divorce papers before your marriage can officially come to an end. Of course, the divorce process can take much longer than six months to complete if it is contested. Let’s look at some steps that can be taken to dissolve your marriage in a timely manner.

Respond to your spouse’s petition right away

California law gives you up to 30 days to respond to the petition that your spouse filed. You will also have up to 60 days to file disclosure forms and other preliminary documents with the court hearing the case. However, if you are looking to settle a divorce as quickly as possible, it is in your best interest to submit the required paperwork well before those deadlines.

Choose mediation over litigation

With the help of a mediator, it may be possible to resolve property division, alimony or other issues in a matter of weeks. Furthermore, you have more control over how a settlement is structured when you create it through mediation as opposed to litigation. Finally, private settlement talks tend to be collaborative as opposed to adversarial. This means that more time is spent negotiating in good faith instead of engaging in petty arguments. Therefore, it is easier to come to an agreement that each side can live within less time.

A prenuptial agreement might shorten the divorce timeline

A prenuptial agreement sets forth the terms of a divorce before a wedding takes place. It can settle disputes related to property division, spousal support or anything else that may be relevant to your relationship. A family law attorney might be able to provide more insight into the potential benefits of such a document.