In this post, we will attempt to demystify some of the legal terms associated with divorce. The process of filing for, waiting for, and being granted a divorce occurs over a period of time. Various junctures in that process carry different names and have their own significance, including an expiration date.
Once the necessary requirements and petition filings for dissolution are met, the court grants what is known as a decree nisi, also known as an interlocutory judgment or judgment nisi. This initial decree is not a final divorce; in fact, it marks the beginning of an actual waiting period before the divorce becomes absolute, i.e. legally dissolved. In California, the law defines this waiting period as six months in duration (the length can vary from state to state). Why is it necessary to wait? There are several reasons for what is also known as the interlocutory period, the nisi period, and the “cooling-off period”:
- Some couples may work out their issues and reconcile
- Some issues (property division, child custody, spousal support, etc.) may require further negotiation or Request for Order (RFO) hearings
- Remarriage (to different spouses) is not permitted until final divorce granted
After the six-month period, unless there are reasons for the court not to grant one, the final, or absolute decree is issued. This all-important document is also known as the decree of dissolution or judgment of divorce. Once granted, this final decree means the parties involved may go their separate ways, remarry if they like, and embark on a new chapter of their lives.
Six months may seem like a long time to wait for the dissolution of a marriage, depending of course how long a particular marriage and spouses have been experiencing problems, or how long it took to reach the decision to pursue a divorce. Once you are ready to move forward, we believe it is time to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney . At Dinnebier & Demmerle, you can add the extensive experience and wide-ranging skills of Orange County’s premier family law specialists to your team. Please call at your convenience to set up a consultation. We are right here in Tustin, Orange County. When you’re ready to move forward, call us at 714-598-3714.