Bifurcated Divorce in San Diego, CA
California allows what is called a bifurcated divorce, which grants the dissolution of a marriage before all of the other aspects of a divorce are finalized. Ordinarily, a couple would have to resolve matters like child custody and division of assets and debts before a divorce can be granted, but depending on the circumstances of the case, it can potentially take several months or even years before a resolution is reached.
In order to avoid slow divorce proceedings and move forward with a divorce more quickly, a couple may agree to apply for bifurcation.
Common Reasons for Bifurcating a Divorce
The majority of divorcing couples who ask for bifurcation do so because one or both spouses wish to remarry sooner without having to potentially wait years for all aspects of their divorce to be handled.
Couples can apply for bifurcation immediately after California’s six-month waiting period has elapsed, and may have their request approved within weeks. If bifurcation is granted, each party will be free to potentially remarry less than one year after filing for divorce.
Bifurcation also provides a number of other advantages. It can prevent one spouse from purposefully prolonging the divorce in order to obtain a better settlement or to prevent the other spouse from remarrying out of spite.
Bifurcation removes this leverage, speeds up the resolution of highly contested issues, and allow the other spouse to move forward. Bifurcation provides certain tax advantages as well, allowing one party to file his or her tax return as a single person for that year.
Handling a Bifurcated Divorce in California
It is important to consult an attorney on whether this is the best option for your particular case, as early termination of a marriage may have unwanted consequences. For example, federal law requires that a marriage last at least 10 years in order for one spouse to claim Social Security benefits based on the employment history of the other spouse.
Another consideration to keep in mind when seeking to speed up a divorce involves the termination of health coverage. An attorney at our firm can examine your case from all angles to help you make an informed decision based on the pros and cons.
Contact Law & Mediation Firm of Klueck & Hoppes, APC
If you have questions about bifurcation, our divorce attorneys would be happy to review your case. Even if bifurcation is not an option, we can discuss other options that are available to you, including mediation and other methods of alternative dispute resolution that can help you resolve your divorce as cooperatively and efficiently as possible. We are backed by decades of experience and numerous glowing testimonials from former clients.