Some California couples who decide to get a divorce might meet the criteria to have a summary dissolution. This is a simplified process for those who have been married for fewer than five years, do not have children from the relationship, do not have significant property or debt, are not asking for spousal support, and have generally agreed on property division.
While this can save time and money, it is not always the best choice. In some cases, the summary dissolution is completed and one or both parties learn things that lead them to question their decision.
Knowing what circumstances would allow a summary dissolution to be set aside is key.
Why might call a summary dissolution into question?
Since a summary dissolution is completed without a trial or hearing, the parties do not have the right to request a new trial or lodge an appeal. Despite that, there are times when the court could set the case aside.
In general, there are four reasons why this could be done. First, if one or both sides say they were treated unfairly with property settlement. Surrendering the rights to items that were later found to be of great value could be a justification to complain and start over.
Some people would prefer a normal dissolution through the court, but are threatened, coerced or tricked in some way to use a summary dissolution. Using summary dissolution against a person’s will may be sufficient to have it set aside.
Errors are another reason for the summary dissolution to be set aside. Proving that there were mistakes in court is key. This might be due to forgetting about certain properties or issues that were settled as part of the case but should not have been. If the property amount is high enough, the case might not even have been eligible to be decided through summary dissolution at all.
Finally, property disclosure agreements are a fundamental part of summary dissolutions. Failure to completely share all the property, debt and income information could be enough to set aside the case.
Legal help with divorce is a sound idea to be protected
Many people might want to simply get the process over with through a summary dissolution without fully understanding what it means. When there are issues after the fact, it can be problematic to try and get them straightened out.
Prior to moving forward with the divorce proceeding and making a mistake using summary dissolution, it is important to have professional advice to decide if it is the wisest strategy. After a summary dissolution, attempts to set it aside also require legal assistance. Calling for advice is a first step.