The divorce process can be long and traumatic. Not only are you dealing with the emotions that go along with a breakup, but you must now divvy up your property and address mass amounts of paperwork.
Luckily, there is a way to speed up the divorce process, and make it easier on both parties. A summary dissolution is a quick and less stressful way to separate from your spouse and end a marriage. Since there are specific guidelines to receiving a summary dissolution, it is well worth researching in detail.
What is a Summary Dissolution?
A summary dissolution is a shortened version of a divorce. In a divorce, one spouse petitions the court. In a summary dissolution, both parties mutually present a written agreement to the court and ask the court to terminate their marriage. Not only does it take less of your time, but it requires far less paperwork. One thing that makes divorce so tedious is the amount of paperwork. It feels like it is never going to end. By getting a summary dissolution, you can move on with your life and not be stuck dealing with the stresses of a divorce.
Another benefit to getting a summary dissolution is that you do not have to appear in court. This saves you time and money better spent focusing on building your new life. In addition, since the process is so much shorter, and does not require as much tedious negotiation with your former spouse, there will likely be less resentment.
How do I Qualify for a Summary Dissolution?
There are very strict guidelines to qualify for a summary dissolution. The main requirement is that you and your ex-spouse agree on the terms of the split. You must agree to having a summary dissolution and you must agree to waive alimony.
Since a summary dissolution is meant to make the separation process easier, you may only qualify if you meet the following conditions:
- Do not have any children under the age of 18;
- Do not own any part of land or buildings;
- Do not rent any land or buildings (except for where you now live, as long as you do not have a 1-year lease or option to buy);
- Do not owe more than $6,000 for debts acquired since the date you got married (with the exception of car loans);
- Have less than $41,000 worth of property acquired during the marriage (do not count your cars);
- Do not have separate property valued about $41,000 (do not count your cars.)
In addition, you can only get a summary dissolution if you’ve been married fewer than 5 years (from the date you got married to the date you separated).
How to go About Filing for a Summary Dissolution
To begin the process, a joint petition for summary dissolution must be filed. In addition to the joint petition, a property settlement agreement also needs to be prepared with the summary dissolution petition.
For the marriage to end 6 months after the paperwork is filed, couples are required to prepare and submit a judgment of dissolution and a notice of entry of judgment. If a couple decides that they no longer want to separate during the 6 months, they can cancel their summary dissolution. Additionally, if further problems arise and it becomes apparent that a regular divorce is necessary within those 6 months, the summary dissolution can be canceled and you can proceed to file for divorce.
If summary dissolution sounds like a good option for you and you would like to learn more about the requirements, contact us to speak with an experienced family law attorney in Ventura County. Norman Dowler will help you figure out your options when it comes to ending your relationship. We know that this can be an emotional process, and we would like to help make it as simple and easy as possible.