Filing Summary Dissolution Papers

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Step 1: 
Complete your Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage (Form FL-800). Opens new window
See the instructions Opens new window for this form.

Attach to the Joint Petition (Form FL-800) the completed:

  • Property Settlement Agreement, along with
  • The Worksheets.

Also attach to the Joint Petition (Form FL-800) a completed

  • Request for Judgment, Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, and Notice of Entry of Judgment (Family Law—Summary Dissolution) (Form FL-820Opens new window
  • Include 2 envelopes with postage.  One should be addressed to you, and one should be addressed to your spouse.  (The court will use these to mail the Notice of Entry of Judgement to you when the divorce is final.)

Step 2:
Make at least two photocopies of this entire packet. Then, take the original packet, with all copies, to the Family Law file clerk's office in your court.

  • For information about the courthouseS and locationS in Contra Costa County, California, click here. Opens new window
  • For a list of courthouses and their locations in other counties, click here. Opens new window

Step 3:
When your Summary Dissolution papers are filed with the court, your Joint Petition becomes a "case" and the court clerk will assign a number to it. This case number will always stay the same.

Step 4:
The clerk will keep the original packet and create a file to store your papers. All other documents filed with the court for your divorce will be kept in this same file. The clerk will stamp the date on all your copies and return the copies to you. One copy is for you and one copy is for your spouse.

Step 5:
At this point you will be required to pay the filing fee for starting your Summary Dissolution. Both parties must pay the filing fee -- unless there is an agreement that one of you will pay the entire fee. If you cannot afford the filing fees, ask the forms clerk for the forms to ask for a fee waiver.

Once your forms are filed and your fees are paid, you have started your divorce.  Remember to put your copies of all the documents in a safe place.

Your divorce will be final six months and one day from the date the Petition was filed.  The court will mail a Notice of Entry of Judgment (Form FL-820) to you to let you know that the divorce is final.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You ARE NOT DIVORCED until you have received the Notice of Entry of Judgment from the Court. 

If you have started the process of getting a Summary Dissolution and now want to stop it, see Stop a Summary Dissolution.


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