The Wilson Law Firm, A Professional Corporation, has been helping people through divorce proceedings for over 40 years.
This is the last of four installments about how divorce proceedings work in California. The information shared in these blogs should not be construed as legal advice, but if you are contemplating divorce, it should provide you with a road map.
When is the Divorce Final?
Under California Law, the earliest that your divorce can be finalized is 6 months and 1 day after the petition for the Dissolution of Marriage was served on the opposing party or the opposing party formally appeared in the proceeding, whichever is first., Your marriage, however, is not automatically dissolved on that day. Many divorce proceedings, especially marriages of longer duration, those that involve children, and those that involve family businesses or other complex property division questions, can last well over a year. Your divorce is officially final once the court enters the divorce judgment. At that point, the court clerk will notify you by mailing a Notice of Entry of Judgment each party in the divorce. The date that the judgment was entered will be stamped in the upper right corner of the judgment.
Once your divorce is final, you are legally single again and can remarry when and if you choose to do so. You will want to keep a copy of the filed divorce judgment in a safe place where you keep all your important documents.
Yet, even though the marriage is officially terminated, you may still need to have interaction with your former spouse, and your legal proceedings may not be over. If either party is required to pay spousal support or child support and fails to do so, you may need to file a lawsuit. If one party claims responsibility for community property debts, but then fails to pay them, the creditors may come after the other party, and you may need to employ legal means to resolve the situation. If children are involved, then there may be future custody hearings to determine what is in their best interest as the personal conditions of each party change over time. There may be hearing so modify child support or spousal support, or hearings to terminate spousal support.
In short, divorce is often a messy legal matter that can require legal action for many years. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help create a legal plan that will protect your best interests. If you are going through a divorce or contemplating doing so, please contact The Wilson Law Firm, A Professional Corporation, today for your initial consultation. We will help you put the pieces of your life back together.