Under California law there is a statutory “waiting period” of six months before the parties to a dissolution proceeding are legally returned to the status of single persons. The parties may not remarry until this waiting period has expired.
The six-month period begins on the date the respondent was served with the appropriate documents or appeared in court, not from the date of filing. Many dissolution actions are resolved before the six-month period has elapsed. In such cases a judgment of dissolution can be obtained immediately.
All of the orders contained in the judgment are effective when made except the order, which restores the parties to single person status. The judgment will contain the specific date on which the parties will be free to remarry.
However, NOTHING AUTOMATIC HAPPENS IN SIX MONTHS! In order to remarry, or to be single, a judgment of dissolution must be obtained which requires either a trial or a settlement. You can not just wait for six months and expect such a judgment to go into effect automatically—It wont! You must actually agree on such a judgment or take the case to trial.
In the event that the case can not be settled and you wish to be single for the purposes of either remarrying or filing taxes as single, you can ask your attorney to apply for something called a “Bifurcation” where the court grants your divorce, but reserves jurisdiction over all other issues for future determination. Sometimes the court will grant such a bifurcation subject to certain conditions.