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.
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.