It's November. Can I Still Get a Divorce This Year in California?

If you haven't already begun the divorce process, you won't be able to get divorced this calendar year due to California's six-month waiting period. However, there are plenty of things you can do now to get a headstart on your fresh start in the New Year.

WATCH: Hello Divorce CEO Erin Levine explains your options if you want to divorce in California by the end of this calendar year.


If your divorce was recently filed

If the six-month waiting period won't be triggered until after January 1st, you won't be officially divorced in this calendar year. But that doesn't mean you can't complete all the steps and submit your documents to the court before the end of the year. You can even have an "enforceable" agreement (kind of like a contract) that allows you to formally separate accounts, property, and such even before the date on which the judge actually stamps your divorce decree.

If you are considering reconciliation

If you and your partner are having second (or third) thoughts and are considering holding off on divorce, you might still want to separate your assets and earnings while you attempt to patch things up. In this case, no need to file anything with the court, but consider preparing a post-nuptial agreement. You can read more about that here.

If your divorce has been pending for a long time but you still don't have a full agreement

If you're still hammering out the details of how stuff will be divided or who will pay support (and how much), but you'd really like to get your divorce finalized, you may be able to do a status-only divorce (sometimes called a bifurcation). It's a little tricky (especially if you're not both on board), but if you really want or need to be divorced by the end of the calendar year – with just a couple of months to spare – this might be your best option.

Ready to divorce ASAP? Let's discuss your strategy. Book your free 15-minute call with our team here.
Founder, CEO & Certified Family Law Specialist
Mediation, Divorce Strategy, Divorce Insights, Legal Insights
After over a decade of experience as a Certified Family Law Specialist, Mediator and law firm owner, Erin was fed up with the inefficient and adversarial “divorce corp” industry and set out to transform how consumers navigate divorce - starting with the legal process. By automating the court bureaucracy and integrating expert support along the way, Hello Divorce levels the playing field between spouses so that they can sort things out fairly and avoid missteps. Her access to justice work has been recognized by the legal industry and beyond, with awards and recognition from the likes of Women Founders Network, TechCrunch, Vice, Forbes, American Bar Association and the Pro Bono Leadership award from Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Erin lives in California with her husband and two children, and is famously terrible at board games.