We are wanting a divorce. I need to know the most direct way to bring closure to this.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
It does not matter where you were married as long as your marriage is legal. If you reside in CA, then file there. The most direct way to secure a divorce is to hire an attorney to assist you.
Family Law Attorney
If both of you reside in California (it's a bit unclear from the words "living in California") then you should get local legal advice. Your "Avvo" post lists a Chicago, IL post.
The State of California has good Internet legal aid information. Go to "lawhelpca.org" or look for bar associations in your local telephone directory.
The information provided here should not be construed to be formal legal advice. The provision of this general advice does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Persons with legal questions are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.
Family Law Attorney
As the other attorneys have pointed out, if you both reside in California then that is the place to file for divorce. Your question is very general and you provide no facts regarding children, property, debts, income, ect. The most direct way to bring closure is to hire a local, experienced family law attorney to assist you with the paperwork and procedure and sit down and discuss all of the issues with your spouse. Good luck.
This response shall not be construed as specific legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege. Further, this response is not intended to solicit legal fees.
You did not say WHO is living in California. Are you both living there or is just one of you living there? In Illinois, ONE of you must have been a resident of our state of Illinois for a minimum of 90 days prior to filing your Petition for Dissolution OR 90 days prior to the entry of the final Judgment. Each state has different requirements for establishing whether or not you have the right to file for an divorce in that particular state.
This can get a bit tricky if you both live in different states. It is definitely best to talk to a attorney in the state you think you will file.
It is always best for the parties to try to have an amicable divorce. There is nothing at all to be gained by fighting. If you agree that you want both want to try to agree to agree then that is the best way to get it over fast, fair, and much cheaper.
If there are kids and property then it gets a bit more complicated and you definitely should be represented by any attorney.