Simplified divorce in California

Pierre Domercq Divorce

A couple looking for an uncomplicated approach to the dissolution of a marriage may find that simplified divorce procedures are appropriate. However, it is important to understand that there are limitations to the process. One of the primary requirements is that the marriage has lasted for no more than five years.
Additional requirements connected to filing for a simplified divorce process include at least one of the spouses meeting the state’s residency requirements for standard divorce proceedings. There must be no ownership of real estate, and a couple may not have unpaid debts in excess of $4,000 that have been accrued during the marriage. Additionally, there must not be any children born or adopted during the couple’s marriage. The value of community property in this situation may not exceed $25,000, and neither spouse may have separate property exceeding this value. Cars and loans may be excluded from consideration, but retirement plans and other deferred compensation are taken into account in determining asset values.
Spouses seeking a simplified divorce must indicate that they have differences that are irreconcilable. They must also waive rights to support benefits and to appeal. An agreement must be reached and signed related to the division of assets and liabilities as well. The desire to dissolve the marriage must be mutual for a simplified divorce to be sought.
While this approach may be simplified, the guidelines for filing in this type of situation are precise, making it important to use the appropriate forms. A spouse who is concerned about any of the requirements may want to meet with a lawyer to discuss eligibility and implications. In some cases, it may be determined that a couple is not eligible for this approach to divorce due to assets, children or other factors. In other cases, this may be the simplest way to end a marriage.
Source: Divorce Support, “California Divorce Laws”, September 19, 2014