Do I Qualify For Summary Dissolution?
The official word for divorce in California is dissolution. There are two ways of getting a divorce, or dissolution, in California. The usual way is called a regular dissolution.
Summary dissolution is a shorter and easier way. But not everybody can use it. Briefly, a summary dissolution is possible for couples who
1. have no children together;
2. have been married and/or in a domestic partnership five years or less (this means that the time between the date you married or registered your domestic partnership and the date you separated from your spouse or partner is five years or less);
3. do not own very much;
4. do not owe very much;
5. do not want spousal or partner support form each other; and
6. have no disagreements about how their belongings and their debts are going to be divided up once they are no longer married to or in a domestic partnership with each other
With this procedure, you will not have to appear in court. You may not need a lawyer, but it is in your best interest to see a lawyer about the ending of your marriage or domestic partnership.
According to Cal. Fam. Code § 2401, for a summary dissolution, you prepare and file a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution, together with a property settlement agreement, with the superior court clerk in your county. You will also prepare and turn in a Judgment of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgment. Your divorce, ending your marriage and/or your domestic partnership, will be final six months after you file your Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution. During the six months while you wait for your divorce to become final, either of you can stop the process of summary dissolution if you change your mind. One of you can file a Notice of Revocation of Petition for Summary Dissolution and that will stop the divorce. If either one of you still wants to get divorced, you will then have to file for a regular dissolution with a Petition-Marriage or Petition-Domestic Partnership unless you both agree to start a new summary dissolution process.