Are you considering a divorce but have questions about the rules for completing the process? Maybe you’ve heard information and aren’t sure which is true and which is false. For example, you might be asking yourself, “Is legal separation required before divorce in California?”
Maybe someone told you that you can’t get a divorce unless you’ve been legally separated for a certain period of time, but this isn’t true. You can file a petition for dissolution of marriage at any time, even if you’re still living with your spouse.
It is true that it takes at least six months for your divorce to be finalized—a requirement the court asserts in all cases. It takes time to complete divorce proceedings and that’s the mandated minimum time frame the court gives you, presumably in case you change your mind. However, this time frame is not considered a legal separation.
Legal separation and divorce are two very different things, though the processes might be similar. When you get a legal separation, you are separating your life, finances, and even your parental obligations in some cases, but you are still considered legally married.
A divorce is the dissolution of a marriage, and it is irreversible. Once your divorce is finalized, there is undoing that decision.
Is legal separation required before divorce in California? No, legal separation is not required before filing your divorce case. However, be aware that a divorce in California will take a minimum of six months to be finalized, even if you and your spouse have no contentious issues to resolve.