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California offers a court-aided one-day divorce program, but is it the best option?

A one-day divorce might sound too good to be true. But it’s a reality in some California courtrooms.

California is a pioneer of sorts when it comes to a quick divorce. According to The New York Times, about three-fourths of family law litigants in California don’t have an attorney. To accommodate those folks, courts in San Diego and Sacramento offer a one-day divorce program.

The process isn’t truly completed in a day. Certain requirements need to be met beforehand. Both programs are free, though Sacramento’s does have income limits.

Sure, it may sound appealing to save on attorney’s fees and expedite the often lengthy divorce process, but it’s not the right option for everyone. The Times said:

Such abbreviated options work best when there is no dispute over custody of children or division of property and no request for financial support, said Ann-Margaret Carrozza, a lawyer in New York who specializes in asset protection.

So, if you’re a California resident with a short marriage and no assets, a one-day divorce program may work for you. If not, talk to a lawyer. As we said in “15 Smart Financial Moves to Make Before You Divorce”:

One of the smartest moves you can make to protect your finances is to consult with an attorney immediately, even if you don’t intend to be represented by a lawyer in the divorce. If you and your divorcing spouse are cordial, that’s great. But you need to know your rights and your options.

Randall M. Kessler, a family law specialist in Atlanta, told the Times that a one-day divorce may be “the wave of the future” across the U.S. because divorce cases often stall and pile up due to the participants’ lack of knowledge or understanding of court rules.

Have you been through a divorce? Any advice you’d like to share? Comment below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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