In California, you may qualify for a California Simple Divorce if your marriage is less than five years old, there are no children resulting from the marriage and, you have limited debts. Either spouse can file as long as the filing spouse, known as the Petitioner, has lived in California for the last 6 months and files in the county where they have lived for the last 3 months.
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A simple divorce in California is formally known as a summary dissolution and can be done if your marriage is less than five years old, there are no children and you have limited debts.
California Residency Requirements
The spouse filing for a simple divorce must have been a resident of the state of California for at least six months prior to the date of filing the petition for summary dissolution, and must have been a resident of the county where filing for at least three months prior to the date of filing.
There must be irreconcilable differences which has caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage for one spouse to file for a simple divorce.
You and your spouse cannot be the parents to any children that were conceived during the marriage. Either spouse may have children from another relationship and still qualify for a simple divorce.
No Real Property
For a simple divorce, this means that neither spouse can have purchased any real property (real estate) during marriage. Real property is homes, commercial buildings, or undeveloped land. You can have a lease and still be eligible for a simple divorce, but it cannot have an option to purchase the property and, the lease must end within one year from the date of filing.
A simple divorce requires that neither spouse have incurred more than $6,000 in debt since the beginning of the marriage. The amount of total debt owned does not included debts for car loan or car payments. All community property debts, debts incurred during the marriage, must be no more than $38,000.00. Community property is any and all assets and debts acquired or earned during marriage. This includes any deferred compensation made to a 401k or retirement plan made during the marriage but, again, excludes car payments.
Property Settlement Agreement
For your simple divorce, both spouses must sign a property settlement agreement and all the necessary paperwork which to make this agreement effective (transfers of titles and/or bills of sale). The property settlement agreement will divide all community assets and debts between the you and your spouse. Often one spouse will assume an assets and the associated debt for a division.
Waiver of Spousal Support
Both spouses must agree to waive any right to spousal support and your right to appeal once the court enters a judgment for your simple divorce. Spousal support can be significant and the spouse entitled to spousal support must be informed of her right to receive spousal support and that she is voluntarily waiving the right to be awarded spousal support.
Revocation of a Simple Divorce
Either spouse can stop the process of obtaining a simple divorce by filing a Notice of Revocation for Summary Dissolution within the six-month waiting period. This often happens when couples reconcile, or if one spouse decides to pursue a regular divorce (often done to receive spousal support). One spouse can file to revoke the simple divorce and then re-file for a regular divorce. Additionally, either spouse can also file a motion to set aside a simple divorce, even after the six-month waiting time, if the divorce was a result of fraud, mistake, or some other injustice. However, this will require a court appearance.
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