“Summary” means a brief account of something giving the main points, or done quickly without formality.  In legal proceedings, it means short and free from the complexities of a full trial.  Summary comes from Latin summa, meaning “whole, totality or gist.”

Summary Dissolution is a procedure in California under which a married couple can get an easier (but not faster) divorce.

To qualify, the parties must meet these criteria:

  1. Have been married less than 5 years.
  2. Have no children together, and neither is pregnant.
  3. Neither owns any real estate (land or buildings).
  4. Community property is worth less than $47,000. (Not including cars) Community Property is generally any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage.  [Family Code Sec. 760]. 
  5. Neither has separate property worth more than $47,000. (Not including cars. Separate property is property owned by either spouse before the marriage or after the date of separation; or acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance.  [Family Code Sec. 770]. 
  6. Total community obligations (other than cars) is less than $6,000.
  7. The parties waive any rights to spousal support. [Family Code Sec. 2400]

If the parties meet these criteria, and both agree on the terms, the next steps are:

  1. Exchange financial information on the appropriate court provided forms.
  2. Either enter into an agreement dividing their community property or state that they have no community property.
  3. Prepare and sign a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution (form FL-800).
  4. Prepare a Judgment of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgment (form FL-825). 
  5. Submit both these documents to the court, with the required filing fee.   ($435 unless a fee waiver can be obtained).
  6. If the documents have been prepared correctly, the court will, at some point, approve the Judgment.  The actual date that the parties will be no earlier than 6 months after the Petition was filed. 
  7. At any time before the Dissolution is final, either party can file a Revocation of Petition for Summary Dissolution (form FL-830).  This will cause the dissolution to proceed in the usual way.

For assistance in obtaining a dissolution of marriage in California, call now for a free consultation.