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How Long Do You Have to Wait to Remarry in California?

by Steve Fritsch on March 5, 2014

time before remarryIf you’re contemplating a divorce, you should know that you cannot remarry unless you fulfill two conditions:

  • The 6 month mandatory waiting period must expire.
  • You must get a judgment of dissolution from a court.

Here’s more information about each condition and how an experienced attorney can help you through the process:

The 6 month waiting period

There are no exceptions to the mandatory 6 month waiting period. It begins, when the attorney representing the party filing for divorce, serves the opposing party with divorce papers. The resolution of your case may take longer than 6 months, but it cannot be resolved sooner than 6 months.

There are two other common misconceptions about this process:

  • That you must finish and file all of your divorce forms prior to the end of the waiting period.
  • You cannot file all of the paperwork before the end of the waiting period.

The reality is that complex cases often involve plenty of paperwork and the law recognizes this burden, allowing the parties plenty of time to file. You can file all of the necessary forms before the end of the waiting period but you need not finish doing so prior to the end of the waiting period. Your attorney will help you determine which paperwork is necessary and how to complete it. Finally, note that the expiration of the 6 month period, though essential, does not dissolve the marriage.

The court’s judgment of dissolution

The actual dissolution of the marriage requires a judgment of dissolution. This may occur before the end of the 6 month waiting period, though it cannot reduce the length of the waiting period. The court’s judgment of dissolution can be obtained through a settlement, a trial or a bifurcation. Your attorney will help you determine which path to dissolution makes sense for you. A bifurcation is useful where the parties are unable to settle the terms of the divorce and one spouse wishes to remarry. The court can confer single status on the party that wishes to remarry while reserving judgment on any and all other issues.

After fulfilling the two conditions

Once the two conditions are met, there is no other waiting period. You become single, so you can remarry immediately. Speak to an experienced attorney if you’re thinking about a divorce and would like to be sure you can remarry, afterwards.
Photo Credit: photographer padawan *(xava du)cc


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