When Is a Divorce Final?

Hossein Berenji, Nov 17, 2023

The timeline for a divorce can be confusing, especially given that every state handles the process differently. Getting to the end of your divorce case can be tough, depending on the circumstances.

Regardless, your divorce is final when your case is resolved, and you’re ultimately free to move on. Getting legal assistance from a qualified family lawyer can help ensure your divorce is finalized as quickly as possible without sacrificing the outcome you deserve. 

When Is a Divorce Finalized?

When a divorce is “finalized,” it simply means it is absolute and that your divorce case is closed. Your marriage is officially over in the eyes of the law, and no further steps need to be taken.

Before your divorce is final, however, you’ll need to take many steps, including filing your case in court and resolving all divorce-related matters, including property and debt division, alimony, and child custody. 

How Long Does It Take To Finalize a Divorce in California?

No two divorce cases are alike, so there’s no average time you could expect to spend on your divorce proceedings. Nevertheless, certain factors do influence how long it takes for your divorce to be final in a state like California.

First and foremost, the state of California imposes a mandatory waiting period for all couples wishing to separate. After you’ve filed for divorce and served your spouse, you must wait at least six months before a judge will finalize your divorce. 

After the six-month waiting period, your divorce may only take a short time before it’s officially finalized. However, divorce cases that are more involved could take several months after that, and sometimes even a year or more. The type of divorce you’re pursuing often plays a role in how long it takes to resolve your case, namely, whether it is contested or uncontested.

Uncontested divorces often finalize faster, as they involve spouses who generally agree on all matters. In an uncontested divorce, the spouses usually work together to come up with their own resolutions and submit them to the court for approval. If the judge finds them fair and approves the notion, the divorce is finalized.

Contested divorces are typically more tumultuous and take longer to finalize, given that the involved spouses don’t agree on certain details. It’s more challenging to reach resolutions, and spouses often go to court in order to have a judge assist with decision-making.

What Happens After a Divorce Is Finalized?

Once a judge signs off on your divorce, all of the final decisions are detailed in court orders, documents that include information concerning everything decided during your case, from monthly alimony payments to asset distribution. 

Immediately following your divorce, you and your ex-spouse must act according to those orders. For example, your post-divorce child custody arrangement would go into effect right away, and failing to act in compliance with it (or any other court order) could result in serious legal consequences.

After your divorce is made final, you can begin to move on and start planning for the future. Divorce can be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing, but the end of your case can signify a fresh start.

Getting To the Finish Line With Your Divorce

Divorce can be complicated, and finalizing your divorce can be a challenge. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. When you’re ready to begin the divorce process, consult a local divorce attorney. They will be your greatest ally during your legal battle, ensuring your rights and best interests are always protected and that you get the best possible case result. 

Contact a Beverly Hills Divorce Law Lawyer Today

If you’re going through a divorce, you need a strong team on your side fighting for your rights. Call Berenji & Associates today to know how we can assist you.

Beverly Hills Office
9595 Wilshire Blvd Ste 959
Beverly Hills CA 90212
(310) 271-6290

Los Angeles Office
550 S. Hill Street STE 1467
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 985-3007