Summary Dissolution – Simplified Divorce in California

cracked wedding rings on top of divorce papers signaling summary dissolution

Your decision to file for divorce is tough enough. The last thing you want to deal with while figuring out your new life is a ton of documents, mediation, and court proceedings. Lucky for you, if you live in California, you may qualify for another option – summary dissolution.

What is a Summary Dissolution?

Summary dissolution is a simplified, less expensive process for divorce or legal separation.

How Do You Qualify for Summary Dissolution?

The process may be faster, however, there are stringent requirements that must be met to qualify for summary dissolution. First and foremost, the separation must be uncontested, which means both parties agree that the marriage is ending due to irreconcilable differences and to the division of property and assets. Each party must also waive any right to spousal support.

Several additional requirements must also be met include:

  • The separation date must be within five years of the date of your marriage.
  • The couple must not have any children together, nor can either part be pregnant.
  • The couple may not own property or land together and may not have debt that exceeds $7,000 (except for car loans).
  • Assets owned by each party may not exceed a net worth of $53,000 together (from the date of marriage) or separately (before the marriage).
  • Except for your primary residence, parties may nat have a rental agreement for land or buildings.

If any of the above conditions are not met, you do not qualify for a summary dissolution.

Your Guide to Summary Dissolution

If you do qualify for summary dissolution, the Summary Dissolution Information booklet (FL-810) is required reading—you will need to sign under oath that you’ve read it. This booklet details everything you will need, including documents and worksheets that must be completed.

Important Information to Know

Financial Forms

Both parties must complete the following financial disclosures:

  • Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150)
  • Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140)
  • Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142) or a Property Delaration (FL-160)

Each spouse will then swap these forms along with tax information and additional investment and business disclosures.

Court Filings

Once the financial information is complete, you’re ready to fill out and sign the settlement agreement found in the Summary Dissolution Information booklet. This form, along with a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution (FL-800), a Judgement of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgement (FL-825), and your property agreement (a detailed explanation for the division of assets) must then be filed with the court.

Deliver two copies (along with the original) to the court clerk and pay the required $435 filing fee. (If you receive public benefits or can prove hardship, you may be able to waive the fee.) Additional local or county forms may also be required.

That’s it. There are no court hearings to finalize the divorce.

If you have questions, or need assistance with any of the summary dissolution documents, contact King Law Firm Attorneys at Law, Inc.

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