What About Summary Dissolution?
Some people can use a relatively easy process to end their marriage called Summary Dissolution. This process is only available when the following criteria are met, as described in California Family Code, Section 2400.
- You have been married less than five years as of the date you and your spouse separated;
- You and your spouse have no children together that were adopted or born before or during the marriage (and wife is not now pregnant);
- You and your spouse do not own or have an interest in any real estate anywhere. This means a house, condominium, rental property, land, or a one-year lease option to buy property;
- You or your spouse do not owe more than $6,000 total on debts acquired since the date of the marriage (not including car loans);
- The total fair market value of property owned by you and your spouse (not including what you owe on that property, and not including cars you or your spouse acquired during the marriage) is not more than $38,000 total property;
- Neither you nor your spouse has separate property (not counting any money owed on the property and not counting any cars) worth more than $38,000;
- You and your spouse agree that neither spouse will ever receive spousal support;
- Both you and your spouse sign the Joint Petition and pay the court filing fees (or get a fee waiver);
- You or your spouse meet the residency requirements for getting a divorce in California; and
- You and your spouse signed an agreement before filing the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage that divides your property and debts.
If you meet these requirements you can use the Summary Dissolution procedure. For information about how to file for a Summary Dissolution, click here.
NOTE: Domestic partners who want to use summary dissolution to end their relationship in California should go through the California Secretary of State, not the courts. To learn how to end a California registered domestic partnership through a summary dissolution process, click here.
There is a six month waiting period after you file your Petition. You are not divorced until you receive the Notice of Entry of Judgment from the Court.
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