In California, you have a few options for separation: divorce, legal separation and annulments. Divorce is hard, even when it is easy. But it can be easier with a summary dissolution if you meet a few requirements. You and your spouse may hop out of a failing marriage with a summary divorce or summary dissolution. 

As indicated on the California Courts website, there are dissolution options for marriage and domestic relationships. We will be focusing on the marriage side of requirements. 

Speedy divorce for a short-term marriage 

Summary dissolutions have many requirements to help split spouses who have not developed or purchased much in the way of marital property over a brief amount of time. To qualify, a marriage must still fall within these requirements: 

  • The marriage is no more than 5 years old 
  • The couple has no children together, born or adopted 
  • The couple neither owns land or rents land or buildings (except where you live, provided the lease is short enough) 

Community obligations and debt 

Property besides land and buildings can add up. If your marriage has accrued more than $45k worth over the marriage, you no longer qualify (though in property or in debt, cars do not apply). If you own more than $6k in debt accrued over the marriage, you also need to proceed with a normal divorce. 

Neither spouse is eligible for spousal support (and both must agree to that) and the couple divides the marital property at time of filing/separation. You may deliver the requisite forms to any court for approval. No trial and no hearing if you qualify. It is important to make sure before considering summary dissolution as your divorce option.