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Summary dissolution: Alternative to traditional divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Family Law

In general, if you want to end your marriage in California you have to get a divorce. However, some couples may qualify for summary dissolution. Summary dissolution is an alternative to a traditional divorce in California. Read on to learn more about summary dissolution.

What is summary dissolution?

Summary dissolution is an alternative to a traditional divorce. You need not appear in court to finalize a summary dissolution. Instead, you will complete certain forms and file them with the superior court clerk in the county where you reside. Summary dissolution is generally less time consuming and costly than a traditional divorce. You can still be represented by an attorney if you pursue summary dissolution.

Qualifying for summary dissolution

There are a variety of factors you must satisfy to qualify for summary dissolution. Your marriage must have lasted for less than five years. You must not have any children with your current spouse. You and your spouse must agree not to pursue alimony now or in the future. Also, either you or your spouse must have resided in California for the past six months and must have resided in the county you are filing for summary dissolution in for the past three months.

You must not own any real estate and you must not rent any real estate except for your residence if you do not have a 12-month lease or option to buy. You must have less than $6,000 in marital debts with some exceptions and you must have less than $47,000 in marital assets with some exceptions. Also, you cannot have more than $47,000 in separate assets with some exceptions. You and your spouse must sign a property division agreement.

Is summary dissolution right for you?

Summary dissolution is an option for those who were not married long, have few assets and debts, and have no children together. It can be quicker and more cost-effective than a standard divorce but not everyone will qualify. If it is an option for you, it is important to understand all your rights so you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests.