When you are ready for a divorce, you might be ready to have it completed as soon as possible. Unfortunately, California requires a six-month waiting period before a divorce is finalized. So, while you might both agree things are over, you will still have to wait.
Most divorce proceedings take longer than six months, but if you are able to agree on the legal matters, you could come to an agreement much sooner than that. Still, you will have to wait six months from the date that the responding party is served with the divorce petition until it can be official. You can submit your judgment and get it signed by the court, but the date of termination will be set in the future, likely at the six-month date. California does this to prevent couples who change their mind from having to get re-married. Essentially, the state thinks that a cooling-off period of six months is enough time for both parties to confirm that they want the marriage to end.
Maria E. Crabtree, CFLS