Summary Dissolution

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Under California law, some people can use a relatively easy process called Summary Dissolution to end their marriage. This process is only available when the following criteria are met, as described in California Family Code, Section 2400. Opens new window

Briefly, a Summary Dissolution is possible for couples:

  • Who have been married less than 5 years;
  • Who have no children together;
  • Who don't own very much;
  • Who don't owe very much; and
  • Who have no disagreements about how their belongings and their debts are going to be divided up once they are no longer married.

There are more criteria. To read them, see Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE:  Domestic partners who want to use summary dissolution to end their relationship in California should go through the California Secretary of State, not the courts.  To learn how to end a California registered domestic partnership through a summary dissolution process, click hereOpens new window

If you think that this is your situation, the first thing you are to do is complete the following three worksheets:

These worksheets will help you show that Summary Dissolution is the right procedure for you. That is, they show that:

  • You and your spouse have less than $38,000 total property (not counting any money owed on the property and not counting any car acquired during marriage;
  • You and your spouse do not have separate property (not counting any money owed on the property and not counting any cars) worth more than $38,000;
  • You or your spouse do not owe more than $6,000 total for debts acquired since the date of the marriage (not including vehicle loans).

If these worksheets show that you have more assets than quality for Summary Dissolution, you have to get a regular divorce.

If these worksheets show that your total assets are within the limits to quality for Summary Dissolution, go ahead and fill out the court forms. To learn how to do this, click here.


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