California state law allows for “no-fault” divorce, and was actually the first state in the country to allow no-fault divorce when Governor Ronald Reagan signed no-fault divorce into law, effective January 1, 1970. No-fault divorce makes a fast and legal dissolution of marriage possible without having to establish “fault” (such as adultery or neglect). All that is needed is that at least one spouse declare that the couple has irreconcilable differences, which simply means that the couple cannot get along. No-fault divorce need only be initiated by one spouse or domestic partner. However, you will still have to wait six months from the date of filing before the divorce is final.
You may also qualify for an even simpler form of divorce called a “summary dissolution” in California if you’ve lived in the state for at least six months, have no children and have been married less than five years. The couple must meet other requirements as well related to the size of their assets and debts. The main feature of a summary dissolution is that neither party will have to go before a judge in order to obtain a finalized divorce. This form of divorce requires a settlement agreement, and also takes six months before the court will finalize it.
Fast divorces in California can apply to married couples, and domestic partners. In the case of same-sex marriages where there is a prior licensed domestic partnership in place, it is possible to end both simultaneously.
While you might consider pursuing a no-fault divorce or summary dissolution on your own without legal guidance, legal counsel will almost always help expedite the proceedings and avoid delays, re-filings and mistakes that can cost time and money and even breakdown what was an otherwise amicable divorce into an all-out fight. Legal representation can:
- Ensure agreements are legal and properly worded.
- Advise you as to specific limitations or requirements that must be met.
- Cover issues that you may not have thought of regarding property, child custody, tax status, health insurance, immigration status and credit status as well as many other vital issues.
- Help you file for a legal separation until you fulfill the residency requirements necessary for divorce.
- Inform the parties of their potential rights and responsibilities under the law, in order to clear up any misconceptions and guide the parties towards an amicable understanding and agreement.
The property and existing debt aspect of divorce proceedings can derail a fast-track process quickly if attempted without legal guidance. Even in relatively modest estates, the complexity associated with financial matters can lead to costly mistakes later on, when you have little or no recourse to revise the agreements. Our family law attorneys are experienced not only at protecting your best interests, but also in taking action to seek to ensure that your divorce doesn’t incur unwanted legal consequences down the road.
For the past 13 years, the law offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates PLC has been passionate about helping families move smoothly through legal issues, including every type of divorce, both in and out of court for over 13 years. We will work closely with you, ensuring that your rights are protected, and that you are treated fairly. Our aim is to optimize your outcome no matter how complex the situation. Contact us today or call us now at 562-372-6868.