Determining your eligibility for a summary dissolution divorce is just the first step. If you meet all the requirements you will need to follow the next steps, outlined below, as well as fill out the necessary forms, also outlined below.
Steps for a Summary Dissolution
- You’re legally required to read a booklet called Summary Dissolution Information (Form FL-810). The information provided in the booklet will help you with your case. You must also swear under “penalty of perjury” that you have fully read the booklet.
- Find the court in your county where you will file your case. This is based on where you and your spouse live currently.
- You must both fill out the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution (Form FL-800) as well as any local forms. Your court’s website will be able to inform you about any required local forms.
- You must fill out your Judgment of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgment. (Form FL-825). NOTE: You will fill out Form FL-825 if you filed your Joint Petition (Form FL-800) on or after January 1, 2011. BUT if you filed Form FL-800 before January 1, 2011 you will need to fill out a Request for Judgment, Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, and Notice of Entry of Judgment (Form FL-820).
- You must fill out worksheets as well as financial information, and then exchange it with each other. You are both required to fill out the Income and Expense Declaration (Form FL-150) AND, either:
- 3 worksheets from the Summary Dissolution Information booklet. These are the 3 worksheets: Determining Value and Division of Community Property, Determining Value of Separate Property, Determining Community Obligations and Their Division; OR
- A Declaration of Disclosure (Form FL-140), and a Schedule of Assets and Debts (Form FL-142) OR a Property Declaration (Form FL-160), and all attachments that correspond with the forms.
- You must also exchange all financial information, including: tax returns for the last 2 years, and any information about investments or income-producing information that were made during the time of the marriage and before you separated.
- Fill out a property agreement and attach it to the Joint Petition, (Form FL-800). If there are no properties or debt to divide, you’ll need to write an agreement that states that. Both parties must sign and date these statements.
Last Steps for Summary Dissolution Paperwork
Once all your forms are filled out you’ll want to have them reviewed to make sure everything has been filled out correctly. Make 2 copies of the forms – one for you, and one for your spouse. And lastly, file your forms with the court clerk along with 2 self-addressed stamped envelopes (1 addressed to each spouse). You will either get copies then or have them mailed to you later – it will depend on your local court. You will also need to pay a filing fee. You are able to ask for a fee waiver.
Finalization of Divorce
If you did not get Form FL-825 back right away when you filed the paperwork with the court clerk, wait to receive it, filed, and signed by the judge. This will have a date on it that is 6 months from when you first filed the case. This is the date that your divorce is final.
Source: California Courts, For Married Couples, 2014