When it comes to divorce, California is a “no fault” state. In other words, one is able to end his or her marriage simply based upon the stated inability to continue with the marital relationship. In this case, the individual states “irreconcilable differences” as the legal grounds for the divorce. Though there are other obvious grounds for terminating a marriage, “irreconcilable differences” are stated in virtually all California divorce cases.
In California, it is not necessary for both parties to agree on ending the marriage. It is sufficient for one of the parties to make such a request. Due to this, the court cannot terminate the marital status until six months and one day have passed since the petition for divorce has been officially served to the other party. This does not mean that divorce cases must drag on for six months. Simply stated, it means that the parties will not be restored to the status of “single” until the six-month period has passed.
At the Law Office of Shawn Dickerson, we encourage our clients to work through all aspects of the divorce in as little time as possible to reduce costs and minimize impact on each other and any affected family members. Most often, the details of the divorce can be handled in less time than the six-month period, but some cases become more time consuming. In those cases where agreements cannot be established within six months, the court does allow a party to request that they be restored to the status of “single” once six months have passed. This request is technically referred to as a “bifurcation of the marital status.”