Judge gavel deciding on marriage divorce

What is a Bifurcated Divorce?

The term “bifurcate” means to split or divide. When a divorce is bifurcated, the issues are split up or divided in some manner. In most cases, this means that the parties can get legally divorced even though they still are in disagreement about certain issues related to the divorce. In other words, you will no longer be legally married while you still are going to court or trying to settle portions of your divorce, such as child custody or property division.

If you want to bifurcate your divorce proceedings, you must file a written request with the court to schedule a separate trial on your marital status. You must have a very good reason for wanting the court to bifurcate your divorce proceedings. Based on the evidence that you present and the reasons that you are requesting bifurcation, the court will either deny or grant your request. Keep in mind, however, that the court will not and cannot bifurcate your divorce until at least six months have passed since the date you or your spouse were legally served with a cop y of the divorce petition. California law requires a six-month waiting period before anyone can get divorced, even if the marriage is legally terminated through bifurcation.

Here are a few common reasons for bifurcation:

  • It is more financially beneficial to you to file as single rather than married for income tax purposes.
  • You or your spouse wishes to immediately remarry.
  • Your divorce proceedings are highly contested and have been pending for a significant period of time. Since it does not appear that you will be able to resolve one or more issues related to your divorce any time soon, you wish to go ahead and get divorced.

No matter what your divorce may entail, we will set forth your options and help you make the decision that best meets your objectives and needs. The Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates have handled countless divorces and family law cases throughout the years. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced California divorce attorney at our office if you have any questions about divorce or any other family law-related matters in the state of California.