All About Summary Divorce

What Is a Summary Divorce?

A summary divorce is a streamlined divorce process that is more convenient, more efficient, and faster than a conventional divorce. It is almost like a mini divorce since it doesn't involve all the typical issues that divorcing couples have to go through.

Who Qualifies For It?

Unfortunately, qualification for a summary divorce isn't automatic; there is a threshold you have to meet. The specific qualifications vary by state, but there are a few common ones across most states. Typically, you may be granted a summary divorce if you meet the following conditions:

Short Marriage

You qualify for a summary divorce if you have only been married for a short time, and your state laws determine exactly what qualifies as a short marriage. In most places, anything five years and below will qualify.

No Children

In many places, you may only be granted a summary divorce if you don't have children, and this includes both your biological and adopted children. This makes sense, given that child-related issues (think custody and support) are some of the most contentious issues during a divorce.

No Alimony Expectation

Both of you will be required to give up your rights to alimony if you want a summary divorce. This makes it difficult to get a summary divorce if one of you earns significantly more than the other or if one of you is a stay-at-home parent.

No Real Estate Property

The existence of real estate property will also bar you from getting a summary divorce. Don't forget that dividing a real estate property is difficult; the most common division routes involve appraising the property and selling it or letting one person keep it and balancing it with other assets. Both of these routes are complex.

No Substantial Assets or Debts

In addition to alimony and child support/custody, asset and debt division also cause serious complications during divorce. It's possible for a divorce to drag on and on because the couple can't agree on how to deal with the debts and assets they own. That is why you will be required not to have serious debts or assets if you want a summary divorce.

What Are Its Advantages?

It may be difficult to qualify for a summary divorce, but if you do you will enjoy advantages such as:

  • Less paperwork – The fewer issues the court has to decide on, the less paperwork you will have to take care of.
  • Speedy divorce – The limited number of determinations means a summary divorce is an accelerated divorce.
  • Few court appearances – You also don't have to make multiple visits to the court to get a summary divorce; you may make only one appearance or even none at all.

For more information, reach out to a family law firm in your area or visit sites like

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