Deciding that you want to get a divorce is only the first step in the process. This process is usually long drawn and emotionally driven for all parties involved. It can also get expensive. In California, there is a cheaper alternative to divorce – summary dissolution. Summary dissolution is a way to end a marriage or domestic partnership – or in some cases, both – in a quicker, less complicated way.
Another benefit of seeing a summary dissolution of your marriage is that you do not have to appear in court. You simply need to have your Central Valley divorce attorney prepare a joint Petition for Summary Dissolution with the court. The petition involves providing simple information, such as your date of marriage, date of separation, residency information, and statements regarding the value of your community property. However, a California summary dissolution divorce is not for everyone.
Meeting the Requirements for a Summary Dissolution
In order to qualify for a summary dissolution under California law, you must meet all of the following requirements. You and your spouse or domestic partner:
- Both want to end your marriage or domestic partnership
- Have been married or registered as a domestic partnership for 5 years of less as of the date of your separation
- Must not have any children together – born or adopted – before or during the partnership or marriage (neither can be pregnant as of the time of separation)
- Have no interest/ownership in real estate
- Must not have $6,000 or more in debts acquired during the marriage or domestic partnership (excluding car loans)
- Have less than$50,000 worth of property acquired during the marriage or partnership (excluding cars)
- Must not own any separate property valued at more than $40,000 (except cars)
- Agree that neither spouse or partner wants spousal support from the other
- Agree or be willing to agree to sign an agreement that either divides all property and debts or agree there is no community property or debts to be divided upon dissolution
If all of the above requirements are met, both you and your spouse or domestic partner must still agree to pursue a summary dissolution. If either one of you changes your mind and does not wish to pursue with a summary dissolution option, that party can file a revocation of the summary dissolution petition. Upon filing of the petition, you will need to proceed with the typical divorce process.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a divorce proceeding, planning to file for divorce, or are dealing specifically dealing with child support issues, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to the division of your assets.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley family law attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.