It’s only natural for couples to want their divorce finalized quickly so that they can begin their new life and enjoy a fresh start. And while divorces are rarely settled overnight, that doesn’t mean your only option is to begin a years-long, complicated divorce.
Each case is unique and there’s no way to pinpoint the exact date on which your divorce will be finalized, but there are a few factors that will have a significant impact on how long your case takes.
Reasons Why a Divorce May Be Prolonged
If you have children, your divorce will likely take longer than average because you’ll need to agree on complicated issues — one of the most pressing factors being custody. Here in California, the state determines custody based on what’s in the best interest of the child. Therefore, it doesn’t automatically favor one parent over the other.
When determining custody, courts look at several factors, including each parent’s lifestyle, financial situation, and health, to name a few. If the child is older, the courts may even take their preference into consideration.
Custody most often takes two forms:
- Physical custody. This relates to where the child will live and which parent will be responsible for their day-to-day wellbeing. Physical custody can be sole (with the other parent likely getting visitation) or joint. It’s important to remember though that joint custody doesn’t mean an exact 50/50 split. California courts understand it’s important for children to spend time with both parents, however they also need a stable routine.
- Legal custody. Legal custody refers to who can make major decisions regarding the child’s welfare, like religion, schooling, and medical and psychiatric care. Like physical custody, it can also be joint or sole.
Calculating Child Support
California uses the Statewide Child Support Guideline to determine child support payments. This guideline is complicated and takes many things into consideration, such as:
- Each parent’s income.
- Each parent’s relationship with the child and how much time they spend together.
- Tax deductions available to either parent.
The guideline is used whenever a child’s parents are not legally or formally together. This includes divorced parents, separated couples, paternity cases (this applies to cases in which the parents were never married), and domestic partnerships.
The goal of child support is to ensure the child is well cared for and that both parents share the financial responsibilities associated with raising a child.
An Inability to Compromise
Especially if you and your spouse are not currently on good terms, it can be tempting to want to “win” everything in the divorce. However, that mentality only complicates issues and can cause your divorce to take longer than it needs to. When both parties come to the table willing to make sacrifices and compromises, the process will likely go much smoother.
When High Net Worths are Involved
Someone who has a high net worth possesses liquid financial assets (money you can move around easily) worth more than $1 million.
In cases like these, dividing assets is incredibly complicated, especially if there was never a prenuptial agreement. With so much at stake, including each party’s future taxes, it’s vital that you turn to trusted lawyers who have experience in this area.
Complex Property Division
California is a communal property state, meaning it recognizes nearly all assets that are acquired during the marriage as communal property. Because of this, it can be tough trying to find and divide everything you and your spouse acquired during your time together.
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