Divorce Summary Dissolution

Summary Dissolution of a Marriage

If you live in California, you can easily obtain a divorce without the hassle of a court trial by getting a summary dissolution of your marriage.  A summary dissolution cannot be used by everyone seeking a divorce.  There are eligibility requirements that couples must meet to qualify for summary dissolution.  You can learn more about the summary dissolution process used in your area by contacting the superior courthouse where you would have to file.  Information may be available on the courthouse’s website.

The most common qualifiers for California couples who seek summary dissolution include:

  • The couple have no children together
  • The couple’s marriage did not last long
  • The couple own small amounts of or no property
  • The couple have little debt
  • The couple completely agree on division of property and debts
  • The couple have been residents of California for at least the past 6 months
  • The couple have been residents of the county of filing for at least the past 3 months

If you meet all of these qualifying factors, you can contact your local superior court and request a copy of the Summary Dissolution Booklet.  The Booklet provides details on the process used to award summary dissolution.  You must swear in court that you have read and understood the Booklet.  Read the Booklet in its entirety to learn which superior court in the state you are required to submit your request for summary dissolution for consideration.  This is usually based on your residency. You will have to complete several forms as part of your petition including the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage.  A detailed property settlement agreement will also have to be submitted.  The agreement spells out the division of property and debt accrued during the marriage.

As soon as you have all of the necessary forms completed, you are ready to file for summary dissolution.  You must file with the clerk at the superior court that serves your county.  A six month waiting period is required for any divorce to be finalized in California.  At the conclusion of the waiting period, you just need to submit a Request for Judgment to the same court that received your request for summary dissolution.

You can file a summary dissolution on your own or with the help of an attorney.  Even if you decide to file without an attorney, it is recommended that you contact a family law or divorce attorney in California to make sure you qualify for summary dissolution.  The attorney can also make sure you have properly filled out all necessary paperwork and provide guidance through the process if needed.

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