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Divorce in California: What is a summary dissolution?

The process of ending a marriage in California need not be traumatic. California is a no-fault state, which means that there's no need to prove fault to obtain a divorce; it's enough to state that the parties have irreconcilable differences. Furthermore, for couples who meet certain criteria, the option of a summary dissolution is available as a less expensive and less time-consuming way to divorce.

To qualify for a summary dissolution, the marriage must have lasted no longer than five years. The couple must not have children together, and neither party can own any interest in buildings or land. Their current residential lease must not be a rent-to-own agreement, and cannot extend beyond the period of one year from the date of the dissolution filing. Neither spouse may have any other lease on property.

Marital assets may not exceed $40,000, nor can either spouse own separate property valued over $40,000.  When it comes to debt, accrued marital debt must be no more than $6,000. These criteria relating to assets and debts exclude vehicles. Furthermore, both spouses must sign a written settlement agreement, indicating how they will divide debts and assets, and both parties must waive any rights to alimony or spousal support.

Any person who is considering a divorce may find that gaining knowledge about all the available options can help  in making important choices that may affect one's future. An experienced California divorce attorney can provide answers to questions to ease the process. A lawyer can assess the client's circumstances and suggest the way to proceed while providing support and guidance along the way.

Source:, "California Divorce", Amy Pennza, Sept. 29, 2017

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