For marriages that are 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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In California, you can file for a simple divorce if you have limited debts and you do not own any real estate. You can have a lease, but it cannot have an option to purchase and, the lease must end within one year from the date of filing. Additionally, neither spouse can have incurred more than $6,000 in debt since the beginning of the marriage (not to include car payments). All community property debts must be no more than $38,000.00.
Community property is all the 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. These assets can be distributed in a simple divorce.
Property Settlement Agreements
For your simple divorce, both spouses must sign a property settlement agreement, which divides all community property between the two of you, and all the necessary paperwork which will make this agreement effective (transfers of titles and/or bills of sale).
Another requirement for your simple divorce is that both spouses agree to waive any right to spousal support and their right to appeal once the court enters a judgment for your simple divorce.
Six months after the filing of your petition for summary dissolution, the court will enter a judgment that dissolves your marriage. At that point, your marriage is over and your property settlement agreement goes into effect. It is at this time that you are also free to remarry.
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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