For many couples, divorcing is even more complicated than they anticipated. Assets and bills must be divided, financial agreements put in place, and in many cases, custody arrangements reached. All of these critical issues can take time to resolve, particularly if there are matters in contention. However, if you need a quick divorce, and your situation is relatively simple, there are certain measures you can take in California. You may be able to get a summary dissolution, which is a comparatively swift process. Before deciding on a summary dissolution, however, it is important to have accurate information about the process.
The Process for Getting a Quick Divorce
Not every married couple will qualify for a summary dissolution, and it’s not in every couple’s best interests to take this legal route. There are some considerable advantages to opting for this quick divorce option that are worth exploring. First, the process is faster. Secondly, a summary divorce is typically much more affordable. And, perhaps most importantly, a quick divorce means that you can begin moving on with your life sooner rather than later. A summary dissolution lets you start with a clean slate relatively quickly and painlessly. Before proceeding with any divorce, you will want to consult a qualified divorce lawyer to discuss which process best suits your personal situation.
If you are planning on a summary dissolution, you must meet certain legal requirements:
- You must have been married for fewer than five years.
- You must have no children together (either biological or adopted) from the marriage
- You must not own any land or buildings. You also must not be renting any property, except your residence.
- You must not owe any more than $6,000 on any debts acquired during the term of the marriage.
- Together, you must not have more than $41,000 of property acquired during the marriage. Separately, neither of you may possess more than $41,000 worth of property.
- You must agree that neither of you will receive spousal support.
- You must have a signed agreement that spells out how your assets and debts will be divided.
If you meet these eligibility requirements, you and your spouse will need to fill out worksheets, present certain financial records, and fill out a property agreement to begin the summary dissolution process. If you are not eligible for, or do not wish to seek a summary dissolution, you may still have options for a quick divorce. An uncontested divorce will help you to avoid the stress and uncertain outcome of a divorce trial. The terms of an uncontested divorce are established outside of court, and agreed between the two of you, and then approved by the court. Or, if the marriage was legally invalid, you can seek an annulment.
Taking the First Steps
Though a summary dissolution is an option to get a quick divorce in California, it’s important to have a seasoned attorney assist you to prepare all documents. As with many legal issues, failing to properly submit your forms will lead to unnecessary delays and difficulties. Once your divorce is finalized, it is difficult or impossible to alter the agreements you established with your former spouse.
An experienced attorney can help you reach a fair agreement and review all the documents you will present to the court. To learn more about getting a summary dissolution, or to discuss other paths to divorce, contact us at the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum & Associates, PLC.