A Summary Dissolution can be a streamlined way to end your marital relationship in California however there are strict requirements for a Couple to qualify.
What is a Summary Dissolution, and Do I qualify to get one?
It is important to note that not everyone can get a summary dissolution. In most cases, people will have to get a regular divorce. It is important to understand that a summary dissolution is a divorce, NOT a legal separation. Both parties MUST be in agreement that a Summary Dissolution is the right choice for them. Both parties will jointly sign the Petition for Summary Dissolution and file it with the Court with the entire Judgment.
Why would I Choose a Summary Dissolution?A summary dissolution is a much more affordable process which is designed for parties that have been married under 5 years and have minimal property accumulated. This is a much more affordable option for couples that do not have a lot of money and do not want to spend time in the Courtrooms.
Do You Qualify for a Summary Dissolution?
To qualify for a summary dissolution the parties must meet ALL of the following requirements:
Be Married Less Than 5 Years
The Couple MUST Have been married for less than 5 years (from the date you got married to the date you separated)
Have No Children Together
Have no children together born or adopted before or during the marriage (and THE WIFE MUST NOT BE PREGNANT)
No Jointly-Owned Property
Neither party can own any part of land or buildings, there must be no Real Property owned, prior to the marriage, during the marriage or after the date of separation
Do Not Rent An Additional Property
Neither party may rent any land or buildings (except for where you now live, however you cannot have a 1-year lease or option to buy)
Have Not Acquired More Than $6,000 in Debt During Marriage
The couple cannot owe more than $6,000 for debts acquired since the date you got married (called “community obligations”) – One exception is that you may have a car loan
Acquired Less Than $45,000 in Property During Marriage
Both parties must have less than $45,000 worth of property acquired during the marriage (called “community property”) – Again Vehicles are the ONE Exception to this
No Separate Property Ownership in excess of $45,000
The parties MUST not have separate property worth more than $45,000
No Spousal Support
Both parties MUST agree that neither spouse will ever get spousal support
Signed Agreement of Division of Assets
Both parties MUST sign an agreement that divides your property (including your cars) and debts
If you are married, either you or your spouse must have lived in California for the last 6 months and in the county where you file for summary dissolution for the last 3 months. If you do not meet the residency requirement, you can still file for a legal separation, but you have to go through the regular legal separation process, or you must wait until you meet the residency requirements for a divorce.
EXCEPTION: Same-sex married couples who got married in California but do not live in California and live in a state (or states) that will not dissolve a same-sex marriage, can file to end their same-sex marriage in California, regardless of these residency requirements. You must file in whichever county you were married.