What is a Summary Dissolution in California?

Summary Dissolution is a streamlined process for a divorce in California that has quite a list of requirements to ensure that neither party is unfairly treated. The strict list of requirements that are in place is designed to rule out any idea that one spouse has been coerced to agree to terms that are against their best interests.

There are Very Specific Terms

These terms are:

  • Either person has been a resident of California for 6 months immediately preceding filing the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage;
  • There have been irreconcilable differences that have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage;
  • The couple has been married no more than five years as of the date of separation of the parties;
  • There are no children, either adopted or born before or during the marriage and the wife is not currently pregnant;
  • Neither the couple, nor either spouse owns or has an interest in any real estate;
  • The couple does not owe more than $4,000 for debts acquired since the date of the marriage, excluding auto loans;
  • There is no community property worth more than $25,000, including deferred compensation or retirement plans, but excluding vehicles;
  • Neither spouse has separate property worth more than $25,000, excluding debts on the property or auto loans;
  • Both spouses agree that neither spouse will ever get spousal support;
  • Both spouses have signed an agreement that divides their property and debts;
  • Both spouses agree to waive their respective rights to appeal and their rights to request a new trial;
  • Both spouses have read and understood the summary dissolution brochure; and
  • Both spouses desire that the court dissolve the marriage.

No Court, No Trial: Now or Ever

With a Summary Dissolution, there are no court hearings and there is no trial. The summary dissolution also negates the possibility of there being a hearing or trial in the future. There is also no appeal to the court that grants the divorce or to a higher court in the system.

Basically, the Summary Dissolution says that since you have no kids, no property and no real assets or debts, then there really is nothing to argue over, so after agreeing to the division of what little assets and debts there are, you each can go your separate ways with no strings attached.

Contact Tracy Duell-Cazes for More Information

Tracy Duell-Cazes is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California and has held this certification since December of 2002. Be assured that when you work with Tracy, you are working with someone who has dedicated her practice to the area of Family Law and you will receive the fruits of almost 30 years’ experience.

Call Tracy at TDC Family Law at 408-267-8484 for a consultation.


1530 The Alameda, Suite 108
San Jose, CA 95126

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TDC Family Law serves the entire state of California for Contempt of Court and Private Settlement Judge & Mediation

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