When people have decided that they are ready to terminate a marriage, in many cases, they will want to process their divorce as quickly as possible. This could be to reduce the amount of time they are dealing with highly emotional issues as well as the unfamiliar court process. While the family law courts in Riverside County all process divorce cases according to the same procedures and timelines, there are in fact ways to keep the process moving to complete a divorce as fast as procedurally possible.
It should be first noted that in California, and no different in Riverside County, there is no way to obtain a judgment (orders) for terminating a marriage by way of divorce any sooner than 6 months and 1 day form the day the other party is served with a divorce petition. Even if the parties can complete all the requirements, settle all issues and even have a court judgment filed and signed by the Judge as soon as 6-8 weeks, the actual marital status termination is on a set timeline that cannot be altered.
How to Efficiently Process a Divorce Judgment in Riverside County
In order to get a divorce judgment in Riverside County, understanding the court required timelines will provide some insight in how to do so. A quick overview, described more in detail below, is as follows: file your petition with the required divorce documents at the court. Complete the required process service on the other party and wait 30 days to move forward. Submit your Judgment to the court for review, and if approved the Judge will sign, file and return your completed orders. Essentially, you can submit your judgment documents to the court as soon as 31 days after the petition has been served on the other party, and then you’re simply waiting for the court to process the judgment. In some cases, the Riverside County family law courts have processed these judgments in as little as two weeks. The actually time will always vary depending on the court location and the courts current back-log of divorce cases. If the court is processing documents quickly, you could have your divorce judgment (orders) as soon as 6 to 8 weeks after filing your petition with the court. As mentioned above, the martial status in these situations is a post-dated order, to take effect 6 months and one day from the date the respondent was served. All other orders are typically in effect immediately.
Factors When Trying to Process a Divorce in Riverside County
The above is a quick look at the fastest a person could have a divorce judgment in their hands in Riverside County. Here are some factors to understand when trying to process a fast divorce.
Filing the Petition: The case starts when your divorce documents are filed in one of Riverside County’s three divorce courts (Riverside, Hemet or Indio). Depending on the document preparation service, attorney, or you, if you attempt the documents yourself, timelines for getting those documents prepared and filed will vary. Example: When we complete divorce documents we strive to have the documents completed within a business week and then once our clients sign, we try to file within a day or two. From when our clients first visit our office, they typically have an open divorce case in Riverside County family law courts within 10-12 days, sometimes sooner.
Serving the Summons: The court requires that the Respondent (other party) is served (given a copy of the filed documents). This is an important requirement with respect to the overall timeline in the divorce case. There is a 30 day mandatory waiting period before a judgment can be submitted from the date of service. Simply put, the Respondent is given 30 days to explore their options, get advice and or decide if they want to respond to the divorce filing. This wait period starts when then other party gets their copy of the documents served on them, not when the case was filed at the court. Some people file and serve the other party the same day while others can wait weeks or months to do the serve.
Submitting the Judgment: After the 30 day wait period from the date of process service in a Riverside County divorce case, when the respondent has not filed a response (default or agreement cases) the court will allow a judgment to be submitted. The judgment provides the orders on the case and the date the marriage is terminated. The court will review, and if approved, the Judge will sign and return to each party.
It is important to understand that the timeline for a judge to sign assumes your documents were all prepared and served correctly, and all required attachments and signatures were included. If they do not meet the court’s approval, the court will return them to be corrected and re-submitted. When you re-submit the judgment documents, they will enter the court and into the processing que as if it is the first time they have been submitted. Errors and missing judgment documents can slow your divorce case dramatically. We have had clients, who before they reached out for help, had submitted and had their documents rejected numerous times and had been stuck for months. When they found us, we were able to complete a correct set of divorce judgment documents and finalize their case for them.
Factors that Prevent a Fast Divorce in Riverside County
The above outline is for certain case types. Due to the variety of divorce cases, and the complexity of some of them, divorces with Riverside County can take a lot longer. Here are some reasons that would prevent a person from getting a fast divorce:
Contested Cases: Divorce cases where the Respondent is contesting (Responding). As soon as the other party becomes an active participant in the case, timelines can vary dramatically. Some people need to have the court handle orders in a hearing, or multiple, and this can take months or years depending on the issues.
Missing Respondent: Regardless if the other party is missing, the requirement of serve must still be completed. Sometimes it may take a private investigator some time to locate the other party to have them served. If they cannot be located additional documents and procedures are needed to have the Judge provide permission to move forward without the traditional personal serve.
Poorly Completed Documents: As mentioned above, incomplete or incorrect documents can be processed and rejected by the court. They must be fixed and re-submitted which results in lost time.
Fast Document Preparation for Riverside County Divorces
Just Document Preparation has been helping residents of Riverside County complete divorces since 1996. We understand the court documents, the processing times with the court and the requirements to get a divorce case to completion. One of our main priorities for our clients is processing their divorce cases as fast as possible. Click here to learn more about our divorce service: Divorce Document Preparation.