What is a Summary Dissolution of Marriage?

A summary dissolution of marriage is a streamlined divorce process available to people who meet certain criteria. Summary dissolution is available for couples who meet the residency requirements for a California divorce, have been married five years or less, and have no minor children together and are not pregnant. In order to be eligible for summary dissolution, neither party can own any real estate or have more than $6000 in debt. The parties cannot have more than $38,000 in community property and neither can have more than $38,000 in separate property.

If you and your spouse want a summary dissolution, you must both waive your rights to spousal support (alimony) and sign a property settlement agreement that divides up any community property you do have. You must also agree to give up your right to appeal once the court grants your dissolution. Although the process of summary dissolution is simpler than a regular dissolution, it still takes at least six months.