After you have verified that you meet all the requirements for a Summary Dissolution (a form of ending your marriage), these are the steps you must take to get that Summary Dissolution taken care of.
You must first file two documents with the County Clerk in the county where you are filing: a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution and a Property Settlement Agreement document. After a mandatory six-month waiting period, either party is able to file a Request for Final Judgment. This completes the process and finalizes the divorce. If a party wants to stop the process they must file a Notice of Revocation of Petition for Summary Dissolution before the six months have passed, or before the Final Judgment request is filed. If neither the Request for Final Judgment nor the Revocation of Petition are filed for, the court may dismiss the action in order to clear its records.
No Need for Court
With a summary dissolution there is no need for spouses to appear in court. A lawyer is also not needed, though it is advised that you consult a lawyer prior to beginning the process. It makes sense that both parties must both agree to entering into this form of judgement – because there is no trial or hearing, you also cannot appeal the decision in a higher court. Thus, challenging the dissolution can be a timely and expensive process.
If an alien who has gone through the process of becomming a permanent resident by marrying a U.S. citizen or permanent resident obtains a summary dissolution within two years of marriage there is a risk of deportation.
Community and Separate Property Paperwork
There are worksheets available for the couple to fill out in order to determine the value of separate and community property, as well as community obligations. These worksheets must be filed with all other previously mentioned forms. The Property Settlement Agreement must outline the division of community property and obligations. It also must include a Waiver of Spousal Support (this means that no alimony from either party will be paid). Both spouses must sign and date the agreement.
Once all forms are completed, they must be filed with the County Clerk in triplicate. You must also pay a fee. A case number is then assigned and two of the copies are returned – so each party has a copy. After the six-month waiting period, if the parties are in complete agreement to go through with it, one of the spouses must fill out the Request for Final Judgement (again in triplicate), file the form and pay a small fee. One copy is kept for the clerk for official records. The other two copies are mailed to each party. The day the forms are mailed indicates the date the marriage is ended, that the Property Settlement Agreement is binding, the parties have no obligations to each other (except for the binding agreements), and the parties are legally free to re-marry.
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