Providing peaceful resolutions Paving paths to a fresh start
Call for your consultation

How Long Does a Divorce Take in California?


What Are the Steps for Divorcing in California?

In the State of California, couples find it relatively easy to obtain a divorce, even if only one partner wants to end the marriage. The entire process typically takes around six months. However, this depends on how easily the couple works out issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of the marital estate.

Filing for Divorce

The first step in getting a divorce in California is to file a petition with the proper authorities. This can be done by the couple working together or by one partner in the marriage. If children are involved, additional paperwork may be required. For help understanding your rights and how we can help, see our helpful resources on divorce.

Providing Information to the Court

Once the divorce process is started, the couple will need to submit important information to the court, including:

  • Tax returns for the past two years
  • Legal documents, including Schedule of Assets and Debts
  • Plans for how to handle child custody and child support

Mediation and Additional Hearings

Mediation can sometimes help the couple find solutions to critical questions, such as child custody, child support, spousal support (alimony), and division of marital assets. A skilled lawyer like those at Hepner & Pagan can offer counsel on your rights and represent your interests during mediation.
If mediation fails and the divorcing couple cannot reach an agreement, the matter will be taken to court, and the divorce will be considered contested. The timeline for dissolving the marriage can be considerably longer in these cases. The judge will review the evidence provided and make a decision according to California law that will be in the couple’s and children’s best interests.

What Are Common Reasons Couples Divorce?

Since California is a no-fault divorce state, it is relatively easy to end your marriage here. The common reasons for dissolving a California marriage boil down to two main categories: irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity. With the no-fault laws enforced in this state, you don’t need to find any specific reason to get a divorce. Either way, you should have excellent legal counsel when pursuing divorce so the process goes quickly and smoothly.

Irreconcilable Differences

If one or more partners want to end the marriage due to irreconcilable differences, this can occur fairly simply according to California law. Within the realm of irreconcilable differences, there are many reasons why couples divorce.

Lack of Communication

If one partner becomes distant and does not communicate with the other spouse, this may cause the couple to get divorced. Marriage requires a lot of work, including communicating clearly what each person’s expectations and desires are. Without communication, many marriages fail.

Too Much Fighting

Another example of common problem in marriages is that the couple cannot reach an agreement without fighting. This causes stress for both individuals and children in the household and can lead to divorce.


One issue that quickly leads to divorce is adultery, or when one partner cheats on the other. Repairing a marriage after an episode of infidelity can be painful and difficult. Sometimes, recovering trust and staying married to the person is impossible, and the two partners split up.

Financial Problems

It’s no secret that financial worries can destroy a relationship. Even people who experience financial success may find their marriage deteriorating because of disagreements on how to spend the money.

Incurable Insanity

One reason that couples split up in California is that one partner suffers from mental instability. While this reason is used less often than irreconcilable differences, it is important to understand your rights when your spouse suffers from a debilitating mental illness. Please speak with an attorney right away when seeking a divorce because of incurable insanity or for any other reason.

What Can I Do to Speed Up the Divorce Process?

One of the best things you can do to help speed up the divorce process is to contact a knowledgeable divorce attorney immediately. Your attorney can start the process by helping you file the necessary paperwork with the right authorities so your case is not delayed or dismissed.
You can also help the process by responding quickly and honestly to your lawyer’s inquiries. You should submit any requested documents promptly and answer phone calls or emails you receive from your legal team.
Finally, one of the most effective ways of ending a marriage quickly in California is by coming to an agreement with your spouse over critical issues such as child custody and division of marital assets. The more contention in the case, the more the court will need to intervene. This can mean greater expenses and a lengthier case for you and your ex-spouse.

Should You Hire Our Divorce Attorneys?

Choosing a family law firm to handle your divorce case can be difficult with all the options available in the area. You need a legal team that will listen compassionately and carefully to your concerns and answers your questions in a way you can understand.

At Hepner & Pagan, we promise to take excellent care of you and will dedicate our time and energy to get a quick resolution for your divorce. We will guide you through the complex decisions that must be made and navigate you and your ex-spouse through mediation so you can arrive at solutions that work for everyone without taking matters to court.

When you need to end your marriage quickly, you need the legal counsel and representation offered by Hepner & Pagan. Contact our law firm immediately to learn how we can help with your divorce by calling 408-688-9153 today.

Related Articles