Summary Dissolution

Mission Viejo Family Attorney

When someone is considering a divorce, the obstacles involved may make the decision much harder. Divorce can be a long and grueling process and one must ask whether there is an easier way. The good news for some couples is that there is an easier way. A summary dissolution is a way to a divorce that does not require you to appear before a judge. If getting a divorce is a mutual decision between both spouses and the couple meets a list of requirements, they may qualify for obtaining a divorce through a summary dissolution.

Requirements for a Summary Dissolution

Summary dissolutions are not for everyone. First and foremost, they are limited to couples who live in California. More specifically, at least one of the partners must have lived in California for at least six months and in the county where the petition is filed for at least three months. There are special exceptions for some same-sex couples who established their domestic partnership in California and recently moved out of state. However, since summary dissolutions are a provision of California's divorce law, the couple must some sort of established residency in the state in order to apply.

The second requirement for a summary dissolution is that the couple does not have children, which would require lengthened hearings on the subject of child custody. Below is a list of the remaining requirements for summary dissolutions in California:

  • Divorce is a mutual decision by both partners for the reason of irreconcilable differences
  • The marriage or domestic partnership is five years old or less
  • Neither partner has incurred more than $6,000 in debt, excluding automobile payments
  • The couple owns $38,000 or less in community property including 401ks and retirement benefits earned during the marriage.
  • Both partners waive the right to spousal support
  • Both partners waive the right to appeal the dissolution once the court has entered it
  • Both partners sign and agree to a property settlement agreement dividing community property and present the necessary paperwork involving the transfer of titles, bills of sale and any other related material upon filing the petition for summary dissolution.

In order to qualify for a summary dissolution, a couple must meet all of the above requirements. Otherwise, the couple may file for a regular dissolution, which is the case with most divorced couples. Summary dissolutions involve a six-month waiting period, during which time either of the partners may stop the summary dissolution by filing a Notice of Revocation if he or she decides they would like a regular divorce for spousal support or if the couple reconciles. However, as mentioned above, both partners must waive their right to contest the dissolution once the six-month waiting period is up and the court enters the summary dissolutions, which finalizes the divorce.

Do you qualify for a Summary Dissolution?

As mentioned before, summary dissolutions are not for everyone. However, if you qualify based on the requirements above, it may be an extremely beneficial way for you to obtain a divorce without an unnecessarily long process. Contact a Mission Viejo divorce lawyer from The Hunter Law Group to learn more about summary dissolutions, whether you qualify and how an attorney from our firm can help you through the process successfully.