Most people who want to divorce want to do so with as little delay as possible. Understandably, the urge to leave an unhappy relationship can be quite strong and there can be a feeling of wanting to rush things. In other situations, divorcing without delay could be in the divorcee’s personal, financial, or professional interest, such as when someone is waiting to remarry or if a divorce affects their taxes positively.
In California, when is a divorce finalized, though? There is a common misconception that a divorce is “official enough” the moment divorce paperwork is filed with a court or a clerk. This is not the case, though, and only represents the tip of the metaphorical iceberg. Some courts may consider this the “date of separation” but there is not much significance with noting that date so long as the couple eventually divorces.
Does a Judge Make a Divorce Final?
Another misconception is that judges in family law courts are the ones who make divorces final. While it is true that a judge needs to review divorce agreements and sign them, this is not the same as the divorce becoming finalized. A divorce is only final when the clerk enters the judgement with county records.
Due to the gap between a judge’s approval and a clerk entering the judgement, there is a slim possibility of canceling a signed divorce order before it is official. Both divorcees would need to act together in order for the cancelation to be successful. Additionally, depending on the county and how many other cases are moving through the courts, a signed divorce order could be entered by the clerk within just a matter of days – or less.
Do you have more questions about divorce, what makes them final, or how to stop one? Feel free to call 805.633.4999 and talk to me, Westlake Divorce Attorney Jeffrey Graff of the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff. I have personally managed thousands of family law cases throughout my decades of legal experience. I would be happy to tell you more about your options in a family law dispute and my services during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.