What Is the Process for a Summary Dissolution?

May 10, 2023
By Alternative Divorce Solutions

Summary dissolutions are a simplified separation approach for couples seeking an end to fairly new marriages in which they have yet to acquire a significant amount of community property or debt. It appeals to many unhappy newlyweds as it is generally cheaper, simpler, and faster than a standard divorce process.

Qualifying for a Summary Dissolution

A summary dissolution appeals to many couples but is available to far fewer due to its strict criteria. To qualify for a summary dissolution, a couple needs to show that:

  • The marriage lasted for 5 years or less
  • Both individuals want to end the marriage
  • There are no minor children involved
  • At least one party has been in California for a minimum of six months
  • Neither party owns real estate
  • The community obligations total less than $6,000
  • The value of community property is less than $45,000
  • The value of separate property is less than $45,000
  • Each party waives their rights to alimony

Couples who satisfy these prerequisites may move forward with the process.

Applying for a Summary Dissolution

Summary dissolutions require a level of preparatory work before couples can officially begin the process. Our lawyers will guide you through the necessary steps, including:

  • Compiling and presenting your partner with a list of community and separate property
  • Presenting your partner with a copy of tax returns filed within the last two years
  • Completing form FL-150, Income and Expense Declaration, and giving your partner a copy
  • Writing a statement about business, investment, or other revenue opportunities you were offered during your marriage
  • Creating, dating, and signing a property settlement agreement including your spouse’s signature and date

Once the information has been compiled, we can help couples officially start the process by doing the following:

  • Filling out form FL-800, Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution
  • Making three copies of the property settlement and Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution
  • Completing the top of form FL-825, Judgement of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgement, and making three copies
  • Obtaining form FL-830, Notice of Revocation of Petition for Summary Dissolution, in case you and your spouse decide to cancel the process during the waiting period
  • Bringing all copies of forms FL-800 and FL-825 and the property settlement, along with two self-addressed and stamped envelopes for each partner, to the superior county clerk and paying the fee

Sometime after submitting these forms, the Judgement of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgement will be returned to you listing a date when your dissolution will be final. This date is six months after you filed the petition to comply with California laws regarding waiting periods.

Unlike standard dissolutions, summary dissolutions do not have a trial or hearing. By completing the process with the superior county clerk, your marriage is effectively ended, your property agreement binding, and you are legally free to remarry. While the process is simple, it is still packed with intricate legal forms that necessitate sound legal representation and counsel. If you and your partner are considering a summary dissolution, contact Alternative Divorce Solutions for professional assistance.


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