A California court cannot order a divorce until at least six months after the other spouse has been served with the initial summons and petition, i.e. a “cooling off” period that cannot be shortened or waived. Moreover, nothing will happen after those six months in ending your marriage unless you and your spouse enter into a written judgment agreement or otherwise take the divorce to trial. In other words, a judgment can only happen with either an agreed-upon judgment or going to trial. Until that time, neither party can legally remarry.
In situations where the parties have not resolved all issues or one or both parties seek to divorce in order to remarry, a party can seek a “bifurcation” of marital status, wherein the court terminates your status as a married couple but reserves jurisdiction over all other issues of the marriage, until further agreement can be reached or the case goes to trial.
Gerald A. Maggio Esq. is a lawyer at The Maggio Law Firm in Southern California.