Divorce can be a lengthy process. If there is a large estate or many contested issues, such as child support or custody arrangements, or if one partner is unable or unwilling to be communicative, a divorce can drag on without being finalized for years. This is not a problem as long as neither partner decides to remarry during this time and neither is worried about the accumulation of legal fees. Interestingly, there are complications when a couple believe their divorce is "final" and later discover this is not the case.
WAITING FOR THE FINAL DECREE
A divorce is final after a final decree is entered. This can take some time, and many couples do not realize they are not divorced until that time. While all the issues might be settled and the court hearing might have come and gone, until you have your final decree in hand you are not officially divorced. The final decree can be entered no sooner than six months after the initial petition for divorce was served on the other spouse. After the final decree is entered, both partners are free to remarry.
WHY YOU MIGHT NEED TO BACKDATE YOUR DIVORCE
There are cases in which one spouse remarries during this waiting period. While it is possible do so - especially in a county, state or country different from where the divorce took place - it is not legal and the marriage is not valid. If this happens, it is possible to approach the court and ask for the date of the final divorce decree to be legally backdated so the current marriage becomes valid. There is a limit as to how far a judge is willing to backdate a marriage, usually a few days or weeks.
WAITING PERIOD BETWEEN DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
There is no legal waiting period in California between the final divorce decree and remarriage. As soon as a divorce is final you may remarry once you have obtained a marriage license.
When moving from marriage to divorce to marriage again, enlist the services of an experienced matrimonial law attorney to make sure your rights are protected.