California has a procedure called a “Summary Dissolution” that allows people to divorce quickly and inexpensively as compared to a conventional divorce. A Summary Dissolution presupposes that the parties have already worked out (or will work out) their differences, such that going to court is not (or will not be) necessary. However, only certain people qualify to use the Summary Dissolution procedure. To qualify, all of the following conditions must exist at the time the proceeding is started (Note: These are highlights only. Consult with a family law attorney for exceptions, specifics, and clarifications):
- Either party was a resident of California for at least 6 months and a resident of the county where the case will be filed for at least 3 months;
- The cause of the divorce must be due to irreconcilable differences;
- There are no minor children born from the parties’ relationship or adopted by the parties during the marriage; neither party can be pregnant;
- The duration of the parties’ marriage is 5 years or less;
- Neither party can have any interest in real estate;
- There is only a modest amount of debts and community property;
- The parties have a signed written settlement agreement dividing the assets and debts, and they have signed all necessary documents to transfer property pursuant to the settlement agreement;
- The parties agreed to waive their right to receive spousal support and to appeal;
- The parties have read the Summary Dissolution informational booklet; and
- The parties request that the Court grant their request for a divorce.
Unlike a conventional divorce where one party is the “petitioner” and the other party is the “respondent,” with a Summary Dissolution a joint petition is filed by both parties.
Where people qualify, a Summary Dissolution can be a great way to divorce quickly and inexpensively.
Legalese: This publication is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such, it is informational only, and it is based upon opinion. Consult with an attorney if you are facing a family law issue. Advertisement.