In the purest sense, the divorce can be finalized in a very short period of time, three or four weeks. However, you will not be able to remarry until six months from the date the party was served documents. California has what can be referred to as a “cooling off period” in which we allow the parties to make sure their decision is really what they want, and the opportunity to reconsider their decisions. The papers could be filled out, signed and even executed by a judge prior to the six months, but the final judgment will have an effective date six months from the date of service. Generally, in my experience dealing with divorces, by the time we go through the normal process and the normal litigation, the average is nine months to a year. With more complicated issues it can be a little longer. When I say complicated issues we are usually referring to custody battles if we cannot come to an agreement, extensive property division, or self-employment where we have to determine income.