Could a summary dissolution be a divorce option for you?

Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP

There is no easy way through divorce, or is there? There are certain steps to follow in California to get through the divorce process. There is one option of which some couples may not be aware, although certain criteria must be met in this circumstance and that is opting for a summary dissolution. Essentially, it’s the divorce process simplified.

The criteria for a summary dissolution is pretty stringent. Firstly, a couple must have been married for less than five years. They must also have no children together — either biologically or through adoption. That means before or during the marriage and the woman cannot be currently pregnant.

There are other criteria that must be met. They include:

  • The couple must not own any buildings or land;
  • The couple can’t be renting any place other than their residence (with no option to buy);
  • Not including cars, any property the couple acquired while married must not exceed $41,000 in value;
  • Debts amassed during the marriage (except car loans) must not exceed $6,000;
  • Separate property the couple owns must be worth less than $41,000. This property had to have been acquired prior to the marriage, as an inheritance or as a gift acquired after the separation but before divorce or included in a prenuptial agreement as separate property;
  • An agreement that neither person will ever receive spousal support.

California residents who think a summary dissolution may be a divorce option might do well to seek independent legal advice. Even if a summary dissolution is possible, the couple must have an agreement that speaks to property and debt division. Guidance from a lawyer in any case is prudent.

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