Category Archives: Divorce Types

What is a Summary Divorce?

Is a summary divorce a good option for you? Have you ever heard of a summary divorce? Chances are you haven’t, and that’s ok. Let’s take a look at what a summary divorce is and if it is a good choice, potentially, for you.

If you are filing for a divorce and meet certain requirements in your state, you could possibly file for a summary divorce and save both time and money. A summary divorce is generally sought if the divorcing couple have no children and limited or no assets that would need to be divided. While each state is different in how they require a summary divorce to be filed, those are the two general guidelines to consider if you are looking for a summary divorce.

How does a summary divorce compare to a traditional divorce? The end result is still the same, however there are three key differences that a summary divorce provides:

  • There is less paperwork to fill out, which saves filing costs and time.
  • There is fewer court appearances required. In some states, a summary divorce generally only requires one or two court appearances.
  • Less time involved. As there are no custody issues or property disputes, a summary divorce is quick.

But, what are the general requirements that would make you eligible for a summary divorce? As each state is different, you need to check with your lawyer or state to find the specific requirements. However, here are a few generally accepted guidelines.

  • The couple were married for a relatively short time (usually 5 years or less);
  • The couple has no minor children (natural or adopted);
  • The couple does not have any significant “real property” interests (i.e. does not own or mortgage a home);
  • Total value of marital property is less than a certain amount (usually between $25,000 and $35,000, and not including the value of motor vehicles);
  • Total value of either spouse’s separate property is less than a certain amount (may be same threshold as with total marital property, above);
  • Both spouses give up any right to spousal support.