Los Angeles Divorce & Family Law Firm
Get Help Today 818.962.4669
Difference Between Summary Dissolution and Divorce

Difference Between Summary Dissolution and Divorce

What Is the Difference Between Summary Dissolution, Dissolution of Marriage, and Divorce?

There’s often a lot of confusion surrounding divorce, dissolution of marriage, and summary dissolution in California. One thing is for sure–they all mean the ending of a marriage.

Divorce and dissolution of marriage in California are the same–in fact, a lot of times these terms are used interchangeably. This is because California is a no-fault state, meaning that blame can not be assigned to either spouse. Summary dissolution is also a divorce, but it is an easier way of ending a marriage than a divorce or dissolution of marriage.

Contact a Los Angeles divorce attorney from the Law Offices of Korol & Velen now to discuss your options!

What Is Summary Dissolution?

divorce and dissolution

Summary dissolution is the most cost-effective way to get divorced in California. There is less paperwork and only one filing fee. However, the couple must meet very specific requirements. Also, California requires a six-month waiting period to terminate any marriage, so summary dissolution does not expedite a divorce.

So, if a summary dissolution is an easier way, then why doesn’t everyone just go that route? Because there are specific requirements under California Family Code § 2400 that must be met in order to qualify your divorce for a summary dissolution.

Requirements for Summary Dissolution in California

In order to get a summary dissolution, California law requires a couple to meet specific requirements regarding the reason for the dissolution; residency requirements; the length of the marriage; children from the marriage; marital and separate property; property division; spousal support; waivers of rights to appeal; and more.

The list of requirements for a couple to get a summary dissolution in California is as follows:

  1. Both of you want the marriage or domestic partnership to end because of irreconcilable differences, and have agreed to filing a summary dissolution.
  2. At least one spouse must have been a California resident for at least 6 months, and a resident of the County the divorce is being filed in for at least 3 months.
  3. You have no children together, and no adopted children under the age of 18. Also, the wife may not be pregnant during the time of filing.
  4. You have to have been married for less than 5 years.
  5. Neither spouse owns any real property, such as land or buildings. You can have a lease, but it must not contain an option to purchase. The lease must end within one year from the date of filing the summary dissolution petition.
  6. Neither spouse has incurred more than $6,000 in debt since the beginning of your marriage. You are able to exclude car payments.
  7. There is $38,000 or less in community property – assets or debts acquired or earned during marriage. You are able to exclude cars here, but you must include any deferred compensation. Deferred compensation are things like a 401K, or retirement benefits earned during the time of the marriage.
  8. Neither spouse has more than $38,000 in separate property – anything owned before the marriage or after separation. This includes any gift or inheritance you got during the marriage.
  9. Neither spouse has disagreements regarding how belongings and debts will be divided, and are thus able to sign a property settlement agreement, which divides your community property. You will need to sign the necessary paperwork to make this agreement effective, which means taking care of title certificates, bills of sale, or other transfers.
  10. You must waive your rights to spousal support.
  11. You must waive your right to appeal once the court enters the summary dissolution
  12. You both agree to have read and understood a booklet called Summary Dissolution Information–this is provided by the California Courts.

Additional Requirements for Summary Dissolution in CA

If all the requirements are met, both parties still must agree on pursuing a summary dissolution. If either party changes his or her mind and does not wish to proceed via summary dissolution at any time during the process, he or she is able to file a revocation of the summary dissolution petition. At that point the couple will need to proceed with the typical divorce process. To pursue a summary dissolution, the parties must also execute an agreement that sets forth the division of assets and assumption of liabilities of the community. What this means is that the parties must be able to divide their own assets and debts in a way that is agreeable to both parties. Both parties will need to exchange financial documents as well as disclosure of all assets and debts.

If all of these requirements are met, you can file for summary dissolution.

The team at Law Offices of Korol & Velen is ready to help you figure out which process is the best route for you to take. Contact us now to schedule a consultation regarding your summary dissolution!


Get Help With Your Case Today

Our Board Certified Attorneys Are Ready to Listen
    • Please enter your first name.
    • Please enter your last name.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.