A divorce timeline can take from months to years

As many California residents know, when the divorce process starts, there are many uncertainties. One of them is how long the divorce process will take. When the marriage ends, both parties want to move on with their lives. However, the length of time a divorce takes is highly dependent on the parties involved and how they work out their differences.

There are several options for couples wanting to get divorced, and the exact procedures and legislation involved with each differs from state to state. The shortest timeline involves a do-it-yourself divorce, which may take only a couple of months. In this scenario, the couple fills out the paperwork themselves, files it and then waits for the court to issue the divorce decree. This option might not be the best for couples who have children or some property to divide. In those cases, if the couple gets along, they might choose to use a mediator to help them resolve any issues. A mediator is an unbiased third party who hears out both people and helps them come to an agreement.

For less amicable couples, there is arbitration, where a neutral third party takes both sides into consideration and then makes the decisions for the couple. In arbitration, the decision is binding in the divorce decree. Finally, couples with a lot of issues to settle might opt for a negotiated settlement, where their lawyers are the ones who do most of the communicating. If no settlement can be reached, the couple will go to court. This process can take up to several years since court dates can take up to a year to be assigned.

In all cases, divorcing spouses might benefit from the services a lawyer with family law experience can provide. An attorney can help his or her clients understand local laws, assist them with filling out and filing the proper forms and represent them in negotiations or court.

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