If you’re considering divorce, and meet certain qualifications, you might want to consider filing for a summary dissolution.
What is a Summary Dissolution?
Summary dissolution is another way to dissolve your marriage. It is not a legal separation, it is a divorce. It’s quicker and easier than a standard divorce because you are not required to talk to a judge, and you may not need to hire a lawyer (though it might be in your best interest to do so). There are necessary requirements you will need to meet in order to qualify for a summary dissolution.
Qualifying for a Summary Dissolution
To be eligible to file for a summary dissolution you and your spouse must meet ALL of the following requirements:
- Marriage (from date married to date separated) has been less than 5 years.
- You have no children together (with born, adopted during the marriage, or expecting).
- You do not own land or buildings.
- You do not rent any land or buildings. The exception to this is where you live now – as long as you do not have a 1-year lease or an option to buy.
- You do not owe more than $6,000 in debt acquired since the date of marriage. These are called “community obligations.” Exceptions are car loans.
- You must have less than $40,000 worth of property that has been acquired during the marriage. This is called “community property.” Exceptions are cars.
- You both do not have separate property that is worth more than $40,000. Again, exceptions are cars.
- You both agree neither spouse will ever get spousal support.
- You have signed an agreement dividing property (cars and debts).
- Residency: either you or your spouse will have to have lived in California for the last 6 months. Additionally, you must have lived in the county where you’re filing for summary dissolution for the last 3 months.
Working with a Lawyer
Though a summary dissolution is less complicated than a standard divorce, it still must be done according to family law. Any legal matter can be confusing, therefore it’s important to work with a family law attorney who can ensure all the necessary steps have been taken.
Source: California Courts, For Married Couples, 2014
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