I have two current clients that have planned their next wedding and their California divorce is not finalized yet. If the issues of this are not obvious enough, I will discuss in detail why this is not a good idea.
But first, lets talk a little bit about why they ended up in this predicament. Both of these clients had long been separated from their current spouses. They just never got around to going through the divorce process and making their divorce official.
They both met new people, started dating which lead to getting engaged. They both even set a wedding date.
Now they have to get their divorce completed and in a hurry. The problems this causes are many, and we wanted to address a few of them.
The first problem is that you cannot predict when your divorce will be finalized. Everyone thinks that divorce takes 6 months when in fact the 6 month figure is the SOONEST your divorce can be finalized. It does not mean that your divorce will be finalized. And if you live in California it is pretty much guaranteed that your divorce will take much longer than 6 months.
This is due to the layoffs and Court closures in California. The Courts are severely impacted with tons of divorce cases and they just can’t get through them fast enough.
We are seeing divorce cases in Los Angeles County routinely take 8 to 10 months to complete. And we are talking about 8 to 10 months from the time the final judgment or stipulation is filed with the court.
Okay, so we know the courts are slow. So unless your wedding date is 2 years out, I would just not do it.
Make it a priority to get your existing marriage ended by filing for divorce right away so you don’t have to worry about these issues. One of my clients I have has a wedding date in 3 weeks and the judgment has still not been signed off by the court and there is nothing you can do to speed up the process. They are worried about hoping their divorce gets finalized and not on the their wedding.
Here is another issue. Sometimes you will be required to prove that you are not married or if you were married have to prove that you are divorced by providing a court approved divorce judgment or decree. They will not issue a marriage license in some cases, until you provide this proof.
One of my clients has told me that the church he wished to get married in will not even schedule their wedding until they their prior marriage is over.
So what is the moral of this story. If you are one of those folks that has long been separated from your spouse and never finalized it, you should really consider getting it done.
And if you are dating someone else, you better really make getting your divorce finalized a priority before things get serious. You won’t want to find yourself in the same shoes as my current clients.
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