A Different Kind Of Divorce: How Summary Dissolution Works In California

family law adviceWhen a couple decides to file for divorce in California, the process is called a regular dissolution. But for those couples seeking out a more simplistic form of divorce, California offers what is called a summary dissolution.

Summary dissolution still results in divorce, but it’s often a preferable option for couples who want a faster, simpler approach to the whole process. Here’s a little bit more information on how summary dissolution works in family law.

Who is Eligible for Summary Dissolution?
Summary dissolution is a valid option for those couples who:

  • Have no children
  • Have been married for less than five years
  • Own no real estate together
  • Own community or separate property valued at a cumulative total of less than $25,000 (excluding automobiles)
  • Have no debt exceeding $4,000 for an auto loan
  • Unanimously waive spousal support

If all of these criteria are met by a couple that wishes to file for summary dissolution, then there should be no issues moving forward. If you’re concerned that your situation doesn’t meet all of these criteria, you should seek family law advice from a family law practice in California.

What Makes Summary Dissolution Different?
As stated previously, summary dissolution differs from regular dissolution in a few important ways. Aside from couples having to meet the criteria listed above, here are a few of the key differences between summary and regular dissolution.

Joint Petition Must be Filed
There is approximately one divorce every 36 seconds in the U.S., and many of those divorces are one-sided, meaning one party files for divorce and the other does not. In order to undergo summary dissolution, a joint petition for divorce must be filed. In other words, the couple must be unanimous in their decision to separate.

No Necessary Court Appearances
Because the decision to divorce in these cases is unanimous, there is no need for a couple to appear in court to dissolve their marriage. That being said, divorce lawyers can still offer important family law advice to those couples who are ending a first marriage. In fact, the California courts website recommends that couples seeking summary dissolution still seek out divorce attorneys for assistance in the legal process.

There’s more than one way to file for divorce, so make sure you’re exploring all of your options before you make your final decision. Who knows? Summary dissolution could be right for you.