Each state has its own policy on when a couple can file for divorce. A couple will often try a period of separation before they decide on a divorce. In order to prevent quickly made decisions that aren’t thought through, the state of California requires a waiting period so that the final decision is made with clarity. A waiting period can be a period of separation, but it is not always the case. At Paula D. Kleinman, you can get assistance with your divorce case promptly and with care.
Does California Require a Period of Separation Before Divorce?
In the state of California, there is no period of separation required before getting a divorce. This means you can make the decision to get a divorce and file for divorce on the same day. You and your partner are not required to separate before or after you file for divorce either.
In some states, they have “no fault” divorces, which allow a spouse to claim no fault in the case of adultery or abuse. Oftentimes, these laws will require a period of separation before divorce, where you cannot live with your spouse. Some states even have a two year or longer waiting period of separation before you can file for divorce. A waiting period is required in some states as well. This is where you can file for divorce but there will be a period of waiting where you have to live separately before the divorce is granted.
Even though you don’t have to separate from your spouse in the state of California, it may not be the best idea to stay with your spouse during the waiting period. The division of finances is determined from the date of separation, so it’s important to take that into consideration and work with an experienced attorney to figure out when this date is and explore the effects it will have on your case. Paula Kleinman can assist you in determining when your property division started in your divorce case.
Is There a Waiting Period for Divorces in California?
While there is no required separation period in the state of California, there is a six month waiting period. This means that you can file for divorce on the day you decide you want one, but you must wait six months for the divorce to be finalized by a judge. It doesn’t mean anything to the state of California if you move quickly in trying to get your divorce because they will still require you to wait the full six month period before granting your divorce.
Most couples will decide to get legally separated when they file for divorce since they will be living separately anyways. To be legally separated, means that the six month waiting period will be spent by the spouses separated. Filing for legal separation at the same time as divorce allows the partners to divide their assets from the point of the divorce filing and start living like they are a divorced couple. Even though you will be legally separated, it does not mean you are officially divorced from your spouse. You cannot remarry during this time in California, and you must do things like continue to share health insurance and you must file taxes as a married couple still. One of the benefits of legal separation though is that you can start to separate assets and property on your own. Legal separation also allows spouses to come to a child custody agreement at the beginning of the waiting period rather than the end so that spouses can live separately under that agreement.
The six month waiting period can be done living together instead. It does not have to be a separation period for you and your spouse. It can be hard to handle expenses on your own right away or hand child custody, so simply staying in the same house and forgoing the legal separation can be the best option for some couples. It is not a necessity that the couple separate during the waiting period, so it is absolutely ok for the couple to live in the same home until their divorce is finalized.
Although living together during the waiting period may be beneficial to you and your spouse, it can make the date that you separated unclear to the courts. This can make the division of property and assets very difficult because assets should be separated from the date of separation. This means that anything acquired during the waiting period could still be considered community property, which would be split 50/50 when the divorce is granted. So, be sure to keep in mind the date of separation when you make your decision of whether or not to separate from your partner during the waiting period. It may be a good idea to draw up papers for an official date of separation with your attorney.
Finalizing Your Divorce in California
To get a final judgment in court for your divorce, you will need to submit forms asking for a final decision. You usually don’t have to show up in court to finalize your divorce. Usually, a judge will simply sign the paperwork and make sure it’s implemented. A judge may ask you to appear in court if there’s something wrong, even if you made a small mistake on the paperwork. Note that you must wait the six-month waiting period for your divorce to be finalized, and if settlements on property, custody and more are not made, the divorce could be drawn out much longer.
Going through a divorce can be a difficult time. You may not be sure whether to separate from your partner or stay with them during the waiting period. Paula can help you weigh your options and find the best fit for you based on the divorce property laws and her other knowledge of divorce cases. Paula D. Kleinman has over 20 years’ experience in law, helping people with their property division, child custody, and more when getting divorced. For the one-on-one lawyer support you need, contact Paula D. Kleinman today.