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How Long Does a Divorce Take in Los Angeles California?

I am often asked “How long how long does it take to get divorced in Los Angeles County? (or Orange County, San Bernardino County,  Ventura County, etc)

Most lawyers play it safe and say ” It depends.”  While that is true it’s not helpful.

Based on my experience Post COVID California divorces are taking about 12 months to finish in all the Southern California Counties. f you and your spouse agree on all issues including the division of assets, child custody schedules and support you may be able to get your divorce completed in 9 months. If you have no children, own no real estate and have modest assets and debts you can use the summary divorce process and complete the divorce even faster.

There is a mandatory 6 month waiting period which begins after the service of the petition of divorce upon your spouse or the filing of their response which ever occurs first. The process of divorce in California begins with the filing and service of a  summons and petition of divorce and your spouse should then file and serve a response to the petition. Certain data such as the age, birthdate, and residence of minor children must be provided in a  declaration which is filed along with the petition or response. There are some other documents that are filed with the ones described which are unique to the County in which you live.

The parties have an obligation to provide each other with asset and debt declarations and income and expense declarations. The data and evidence supporting it are set out in forms FL-150 and  FL-142 and  FL-140. The parties will begin the disclosure process whenever they like but generally shortly after the filing of the pleadings.

If the parties do not agree on one or more issues, such as child custody, child support or spousal support they can engage in private mediation or they can file a motion with the court (called a Request for Orders) regarding the disputed issues such as child custody, child support and spousal support. If they don’t agree on the division of assets and debts, the sale of their real estate, etc. they can engage in mediation or they can have a trial. Cases in which the parties have a trial take 16 to 24 months on average.