Contrary to what many people think, filing for divorce does not automatically end a marriage. While starting the divorce process with the Court helps people move forward, the fact is that becoming unmarried does not happen overnight.
In California, the waiting period to become unmarried is six months. The six month clock starts ticking when a spouse is served with the petition and summons for dissolution of marriage filed by the other spouse. This waiting period or “cooling off” period often comes as a surprise to a couple. It does allow a couple the opportunity to reconsider reconciliation during this six month period.
Even in the most acrimonious cases, reconciliation can and does happen. Divorcing spouses may find that a trial separation and time gives them the opportunity to reassess themselves and their relationship. In some cases, people decide they would rather work on the marriage than end it.
Divorce is an emotional event and you can’t always predict how you will react or feel about someone, particularly when the relationship is in trouble. While you and your spouse may no longer get along or even like each other, things can change over time. If you are in this situation, you may be relieved to know that just because you have filed for divorce doesn’t mean it’s already finalized. In reality, the divorce is not final until a Judgment of Dissolution has been filed and entered by the Court and the six month period has elapsed.
One of many benefits of the collaborative divorce process is that the parties are in control of the process. Unlike the litigation process – escalation between the parties are less likely to occur. The presence of mental health professionals and a team that is working to help the couple resolve difficult issues helps a couple keep a better perspective of their situation.
Contact information is below to select an attorney to discuss finding the approach that works best for your specific situation
by Hal Bartholomew
Collaborative Divorce – a new process in which a divorcing couple, together with trained professionals, work as a team to resolve disputes respectfully, without going to court. It begins with something we all agree on – mutual respect.