We have all heard the horror stories: “my divorce lasted longer than my marriage” or “it dragged out for years.” Thankfully, if you have minimal assets and are searching for ways to streamline your divorce process you have a few options. One way to expedite the process is to proceed by summary dissolution. Summary dissolution has the same effect as a divorce, but has several benefits that a “regular” divorce does not. Notably, it’s a quick(er) and eas(ier)y process. Oftentimes, you do not even need to appear before a Judge.
If you meet the following 9 criteria, you and your soon to be ex-spouse, should consider filing for summary dissolution.
- Have been married for less than 5 years (from the date you got married to the date you separated);
- Have no children together born or adopted before or during the marriage (and you are not expecting a new child now);
- Do not own any part of land or buildings;
- Do not rent any land or buildings (except for where you now live with limited exceptions);
- Do not owe more than $6,000 for debts acquired since the date you got married (calling “community obligations”)*;
- Have less than $45,000 worth of property acquired since the date you got married (called “community property”)*;
- Do not have separate property worth more than $45,000;
- Agree that neither spouse will ever get spousal support; and
- Have signed an agreement that divides your property and debts.
*There are some exceptions to the calculation.
If you need help determining if you qualify or need assistance in reaching/preparing an agreement that divides your property, consider meeting with a Certified Family Law Specialist, even if only for a consultation. Alternatively, if you have already prepared your summary dissolution, consider contacting a lawyer to do a final review of the documents prior to submitting for filing. This can help having your documents rejected and ensure faster resolution. Good luck!
LGBTQ note: The summary dissolution process can dissolve your domestic partnership as well or if you are both married and domestic partnered, can dissolve both.
If you would like a quote on the cost for your summary dissolution of marriage, click here.