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Family Law Blog

Do I Qualify For Summary Dissolution


Dissolution is the official term for divorce in California.

There are two ways you can obtain a dissolution in California: standard, which is the most common form of divorce, and summary, which is a shortened version of the divorce process.

Not everyone can use summary dissolution to end their marriage as there are very specific requirements that must be met for the court to approve your divorce.

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Who Qualifies for a Summary Dissolution?

There are strict eligibility guidelines for a California summary dissolution and all of them must be met to proceed. In addition to those listed above, it is required that:

  • At least one of you has lived in California for at least 6 months, and in your county for at least 3 months before filing the petition.
  • Both of you must agree to summary dissolution and the grounds of irreconcilable differences.
  • Neither of you may own real estate or hold a lease with an option to purchase.
  • Neither of you has more than $40,000 in separate, or non-community, property.
  • Neither of you has incurred more than $6,000 in debt, excluding car loans, since the date of marriage.

Both of you must also read and sign a summary dissolution booklet that is provided by the state. The booklet explains the entire process and contains helpful worksheets for dividing assets.

How to Obtain a Summary Dissolution

There is less paperwork required for a summary dissolution than there is for a regular one, but you must file with the superior court clerk a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution that includes a property settlement agreement.

A Judgment of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgment must also be prepared. Six months after filing, your divorce will be final.

You do not have to appear in court and afterwards you are free to remarry. At any time during those six months either you or your spouse can stop the summary dissolution process.

If you are looking for a fast resolution to your marriage, summary dissolutions can be the right option for you as long as you meet the necessary requirements.

To learn more about whether you may qualify, or for help in starting the process, talk to a qualified California family law attorney.

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Steps to Collect Back Child Support Payments in San Diego

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If you are a custodial parent, you are eligible to receive child support payments from the non-custodial parent. These payments are designed to help provide financial support to the custodial parent to assist in providing care and support for the children.

Child support can be sought for all children under 18 years old, or those still attending high school. Unfortunately, an oral agreement between both parents is not enough to ensure child support payment, and is also not enforceable by the courts in California.

It is highly recommended that you obtain a Child Support Order from the San Diego courts. Continue Reading

Courthouses Which House Juvenile Dependency Departments Within San Diego County


San Diego currently has three different courthouses, each of which is home to at least one Department set aside for Juvenile Dependency Hearings.

The main Juvenile Courthouse is at 2851 Meadowlark Drive in central San Diego. This Courthouse is often known as the Meadowlark Juvenile Court because the Courthouse itself is tabbed to hear only matters involving children. Three Juvenile Dependency departments are strictly for Juvenile Dependency, although, on occasion, Child Welfare cases will go to the Assistant Presiding or Presiding Judge’s Courtroom for a hearing. However, this usually only occurs during the holidays or when a Judge assigned to a Juvenile Dependency courtroom is out.

The Juvenile Dependency Business Office is located on the 2nd Floor while all the courtrooms are on the 1st floor.  This Courthouse offers free parking in the main lot but has no vending machines or cafeterias.

As to San Diego’s East County Division, one Juvenile Dependency Department hears only Child Welfare cases. This court is located at 250 East Main Street in El Cajon. Both the Juvenile Business Office for East County and the one courtroom are on the 6th floor. This courthouse has vending machines containing light snacks and beverages on the main floor and second floor. Free parking is sometimes available in the Courthouse parking lot.

A Coffee Cart on the sidewalk between the Courthouse and Magnolia Theater is sometimes open in the mornings, allowing for fresh made caffeinated beverages as well as an array of pastries. However, when a Jury Trial is taking place, the lot becomes crowded and visitors often need to park on the street. Some of the streets only have two hour parking, so make sure to take note of any signage and move your car, when needed.

One Department in North County is utilized exclusively for child welfare proceedings.  Although this courthouse was recently renovated, the Juvenile Dependency Courtroom was not one of the renovated spaces.

This courthouse often has enough spaces in the parking lot for all visitors, but driving the lot a few times to find a space is sometimes required. The Cafeteria/Deli in this Courthouse serves beverages, pastries, sandwiches, and other snacks.

Both the Central Courthouse and Chula Vista Courthouse used to each have a Juvenile Dependency Courtroom. Those Departments were closed around 2018, before the COVID pandemic.