How can a couple get a summary dissolution?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

Many California residents may have heard about the prospect of a summary dissolution as a way to end a marriage. A summary dissolution can provide a quick and easy divorce solution for couples that qualify. It is important for residents to understand how a summary dissolution works in California and if it is in their best interest.
A summary dissolution is essentially a divorce that skips over most of the divorce process. There are none of the aspects usually associated with a regular divorce, like complex property division, child custody or alimony. The couple simply signs a few documents and agreements and is declared divorced. However, the requirements for summary dissolution are not a fit for the majority of marriages. The marriage must be short, having lasted less than five years. There must also be no children associated with the marriage. The couple must meet the residency requirements of living in California for at least six months prior to filing.
Property division is highly simplified because community property must be less than $40,000 with no more than $6,000 of joint debt, excluding car loans. Each spouse cannot have separate property valuing more than $40,000 as well. This again excludes car ownership. The spouses must sign an agreement that divides the marital property and declares that there will be no alimony payments.
Obviously, not all marriages will fit these requirements, but a summary dissolution may be a good idea for couples that meet the basic requirements. An attorney can help a client understand if their marriage is a good fit for summary dissolution, including any complications that may arise. The attorney can also help draft the agreement and ensure that the necessary forms are filed with the court.
Source: Judicial Council of California, “Divorce or Separation”, accessed on Jan. 12, 2015