Conditions for Simplified Divorce in California

To help ease the legal burden of divorce for young couples, the state of California has a simplified divorce process for those who have been married for five years of less. A simplified divorce process can be executed through the filing of a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage. Before the Joint Petition can be finalized, however, the following 13 specific conditions must be met.

  • First, both spouses must want a divorce.
  • Second, the marital differences cannot be overcome.
  • Third, the couple has no children, whether through birth or adoption.
  • Fourth, both spouses have to read and understand a brochure on the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage.
  • Fifth, both spouses have to waive their rights to receive spousal support from one another.
  • Sixth, neither spouse can own any real estate.
  • Seventh, the unpaid debts of the couple cannot exceed $4,000.
  • Eight, the total value of the couples’ property cannot exceed $25,000. That amount does not include cars and loans, but it does include retirement plans and deferred compensation.
  • Ninth, the value of either spouse’s separate property cannot exceed $25,000, excluding cars and loans.
  • Tenth, the spouses must waive their right to appeal the dissolution and their right to a new trial when the divorce is finalized.
  • Eleventh, both spouses have to agree on the division of their assets and have to sign an official form stating that they agree to the terms of the division.
  • Twelfth, at least one spouse must be an official resident of the state of California.
  • Finally, the wife cannot be pregnant.

Contact Us

As the above criteria suggest, the divorce process in California can be confusing, even in the case of so-called simplified divorces. For help, contact the San Diego divorce lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP by calling 760-722-7646.

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