Some couples choosing to end their marriage are already in agreement on most of the details of their divorce. Some may even have relatively uncomplicated issues in their divorce, especially if they do not have children or own real property. These couples may be interested in learning more about an option for a quick, smooth process for divorce in California: summary dissolution.
Do you qualify for summary dissolution?
You must meet certain requirements to qualify for summary dissolution. First, your marriage must have lasted five years or less. You and your spouse must have no children together and you must not be expecting a child at the time of the dissolution.
You must not own or partially own any real property. In addition, you must not be renting any property except for your current residence as long as your lease is not one-year or an option to buy.
You must not have more than $6,000 in debt incurred during your marriage. This does not include car loans. You must have $47,000 or less in property obtained while marriage (community property). This does not include automobiles. You also must not have separate property amounting to $47,000 or more. This does not include automobiles.
You and your spouse must agree that neither of you will ever seek spousal support. You must also have a written signed agreement regarding property division and the division of your debts.
Finally, you or your spouse must have resided in California for the past six months and resided in the county where you are seeking summary dissolution for the past three months.
Steps to take in the summary dissolution process
If you qualify for summary dissolution, there are steps you need to take to see it through, including filling out a Joint Petition and other applicable documents. Any necessary worksheets and financial information must be filled out and exchanged. You must fill out your property agreement and include it with your Joint Petition. Finally, you will file your documents with the court clerk. You will then receive a Judgment of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgment, which shows you have been divorced starting six months after you first filed your case. A summary dissolution is one way to make the family law matter of divorce run smoother and with less conflict than litigation.