Sometimes partners or spouses both agree the marriage is over. They have decided who will pay which debts and how to split the assets. There is nothing else but to undo what now seems like one of the worst decisions ever made. The only question they now have is “What is the quickest way to legally end the marriage?” A simplified dissolution of marriage may be their answer.
California is a no-fault divorce state. That means the spouse or domestic partner asking for the divorce doesn’t have to prove either one did anything wrong. Commonly the filer cites irreconcilable differences, since a cause of separation is required. HFLG can assist separating couples in a “designed default” as part a fast track divorce. This is one of the divorce options available when the simplified dissolution of marriage is amicable.
While a summary dissolution is a divorce, not everyone qualifies for this fast track divorce option. What follows are the criteria to meet to be granted a summary dissolution, or simplified dissolution of marriage.
The Marriage Lasted Less Than Five Years
This refers to couples married for less than five years from the date married to the date of separation. The date of separation is the day one spouse informs the other they want out of the marriage. This can be done by words or actions, but must be consistent with actions after that day. The day of separation is important because it determines the length of your marriage.
It is not just in a dissolution of marriage that the date of separation matters. How you divide your assets and debts can be impacted by date of separation. Additionally, the length of the marriage is a factor in the judge’s consideration of spousal support. If you have any questions regarding your date of separation, you should seek the advice of a family law attorney, like HFLG.
The Couple Has No Children Together
There cannot be children born or adopted by both parties, before or during the marriage for dissolution. The term “children” refers to minors (less than eighteen years old) born or adopted by you during this marriage. If one of you is pregnant before the dissolution is finalized you may still have children together, even if unborn.
Minimal Assets or Debts Together
There is a cap on what you can owe to qualify for simplified dissolution of marriage. Beginning the day you married, until the day you separated, your debt can’t have grown by $6,000 or more. Car loans do not figure in this count, but you should check with your counsel to be sure.
No Real Estate Ownership or Lease
Unless your residential lease ends within a year of filing for divorce, it disqualifies you from simplified dissolution of marriage. Neither can you qualify if you own real estate. Like large debt, significant real estate holdings make it necessary to file for standard divorce.
Other Community or Separate Property
If community or separately owned property is under a certain cap, you may still qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage. Community property is property acquired while married. Separate property is property from before you married or after you separated. However, you must be in agreement on how to split the property. You will need to follow the standard divorce process if you do not fit in every condition listed here or if spousal support is an issue. Consult with your attorney for specific questions or concerns.
Simplified Dissolution of Marriage Article is Not Legal Advice
This article is not intended to be construed as legal advice. It is for informational purposes only, offering insights and awareness of dissolution of marriage as a divorce option. Determining whether a couple qualifies for this fast track divorce may not be straightforward. Speaking with an experienced attorney is an advisable way to make sure your rights are safeguarded.