For some couples, summary divorce may be a viable option. There are many limitations excluding couples from using this streamlined divorce process, and not all jurisdictions offer summary divorce; yet where it is offered, it can provide couples with a fast, easy exit from their marital troubles.
Young couples may be the primary target for summary divorce, as it requires the individuals to have been married no longer than five years and have no dependent children. Furthermore, the couple must not have a mortgage on a home or any other property investments, and the total value of their marital property must usually be no larger than $35,000.
Marital property, defined, is that which is acquired throughout the course of a marriage. Major appliances and furniture usually go towards this amount, although vehicles are not included. Anything acquired once the couple separates (but prior to a divorce) does not count. The issue can become complicated if the couple decides to separate, but does not do so for an extended period of time because of impediments such as the inability to find affordable, alternative housing. According to most laws, as soon as the decision is made to separate, the acquisition of marital property ceases to be a possibility. However, if the couple cannot agree as to when exactly this decision was made (due to either communication problems or simply conflicting memories), the court may need to intercede and conclude the matter in their stead.
Of course, another prerequisite for this simplified divorce is some degree of agreement between the couple as to wanting fast divorce settlement. Not all specifics have to be agreed upon, as the court does remain available to resolve some disputes (depending on the jurisdiction). Yet there often is the assumption that the two sides have worked out some of the details themselves.
One detail that must be agreed to in most summary divorces is that neither side will seek alimony. This means that there will be no transfer of assets from one party to another (alimony) following the divorce. Beyond that, if agreements can be made on any money or property specifics, these can be submitted to make the process go that much faster.
Key benefits of a summary divorce could include reduced paperwork and fewer trips to the courthouse. Because there is an expectation that some level of agreement already exists, the amount of time each side will have to spend going back and forth with each other on negotiations should also be minimized.
Not everyone is eligible for a summary divorce, obviously, you may want to ask a divorce attorney whether you are and whether or not it is the right option for you. When a marriage ends quickly, it does not have to be accompanied by an extended falling out period with divorce arguments that wage on and on and on. Many jurisdictions do offer fast solutions, and a divorce attorney could introduce you to the basics that will allow you to quickly recover and get back into your everyday life.