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What is Summary Dissolutions Giving you the upper-hand during this difficult time.

The Comprehensive Guide to Summary Dissolution

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A summary dissolution is an easy way for married couples or registered domestic partners to legally end their marriage quickly. A summary dissolution is the same thing as a divorce, but it takes much less time and requires much less paperwork. If you and your spouse are looking for a fast resolution to your marriage, The Law Office of Michael R. Young can help.

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With more than 50 years of combined experience, The Law Office of Michael R. Young provides clients with the compassionate, knowledgeable, and accessible legal help they need.

Request a consultation with our San Bernardino family law attorneys by contacting us at (909) 315-4588. We hope you benefit from our guide to Summary Dissolution!

How to Use This Guide

It is important to note that not everyone qualifies for a summary dissolution, and most couples looking to end their marriage and / or domestic partnership will need a traditional divorce. With that said, this guide will help you determine your eligibility for a summary dissolution, and how to obtain one.

This guide is divided into three sections:

  • Part 1: Summary Dissolutions for Married Couples
  • Part 2: Summary Dissolutions for Registered Domestic Partners (Unmarried)
  • Part 3: Summary Dissolutions for Same-Sex Couples Who Are Married & Domestic Partners

While our guide is as comprehensive and accurate as possible, no two legal or marital situations are the same. If you have a unique issue or specific questions regarding your situation, call our firm today..

About Fees

Either you or your spouse will have to pay the fee for filing for summary dissolution. If you cannot pay for it, you can ask for a fee waiver. If one spouse qualifies for a fee waiver but the other does not, the one who does not qualify will need to pay for filing. If you are unmarried and want to dissolve your domestic partnership, there is no fee for the process. More info can be found on the California Courts website.

Qualifying for Summary Dissolution

You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for summary dissolution. If you do not meet the residency requirements, you have two options: file for a regular legal separation or wait until you fulfill the residency requirements. For unmarried domestic partners, there is no requirement. Theoretically, you can terminate a domestic partnership in California even if neither of you currently live there.

You and your partner or spouse are eligible if you:

  • Have been married / in partnership for less than 5 years
  • Haven’t any children
  • Own no real estate
  • Rent no land or structures (except for residences, barring a lease or buying option)
  • Owe less than $6,000 for debts acquired while married (except car loans)
  • Acquired less than $41,000 worth of property while married (except car loans)
  • Have separate property worth less than $41,000 (except car loans)
  • Mutually agreed to forgo any right to alimony
  • Signed a property division agreement (including vehicles)

For married couples, there is also a residency requirement for summary dissolution:

  • You must have lived in California for the prior six months
  • You must have lived in the county where you filed for the prior three months

If you meet each requirement for summary dissolution, you can proceed with filing.

Married Couples

1) Read the Summary Dissolution Information booklet.

2) Find the court that serves you or your spouse’s current residence.

3) Fill out the following forms:

Lastly, as part of your financial information exchange, you and your spouse MUST exchange:

  • All tax returns you filed in the last 2 years, AND
  • Lists of any investments, businesses, or other income-producing opportunities you’ve had since separating if you brought up or made those investments before separation.

4) Have your forms reviewed by your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center.

5) Make at least 2 copies of your forms.

  • Copies are for you and your spouse; the original is for the court.

6) File your forms with the court.

  • Turn in your Joint Petition and Judgement of Dissolution form (including your copies) to the clerk.
  • Include 2 addressed envelopes, one for you and your spouse.

7) You’ll get the Judgment of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgment either in the mail or immediately after filing. It will include a date on Item 1(a).

  • That date is 6 months after you first filed your case, and it is the date your divorce is final.
  • You cannot get remarried until after that date.

Registered Domestic Partners (Unmarried)

If you meet ALL of the requirements above to file for summary dissolution, then take these next steps:

1) Read the California Secretary of State’s brochure on ending domestic partnerships.

2) Fill out your Notice of Termination.

  • You must both sign and your signatures must be notarized.

3) Write your property agreement.

  • You can write your own agreement or use a fillable property agreement from the court. If you do not have any property or debt to divide, write an agreement saying so. Each of you should sign and date it.

4) Have the forms reviewed by your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center.

5) Then, make at least two copies of your forms (including your property agreement).

6) Mail all forms, including the property agreement, to the CA Secretary of State.

Send the signed and notarized original of your Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership to:

  • Secretary of State
  • Domestic Partners Registry
  • P.O. Box 942877
  • Sacramento, CA 94277-0001

It can also be dropped off at the Sacramento office or the regional Los Angeles office.

Regarding fees, this process costs nothing.

7) After six months, your domestic partnership will be considered over.

If your partner files and sends you a Revocation of Termination of Domestic Partnership, but you still want to get a divorce, you will not be able to get that divorce by summary dissolution.

Couples in Both Same-Sex Marriage & Domestic Partnership

This section is for same-sex couples who:

  1. Are both married and registered domestic partners;
  2. Want to end both their marriage and domestic partnership at the same time; and
  3. Qualify for a summary dissolution for BOTH the marriage and domestic partnership.

Steps to Summary Dissolution

1) Read Summary Dissolution Information (a booklet from the California court).

2) Find the court that serves the area where you live.

3) Fill out the following forms:

Lastly, as part of your financial information exchange, you and your spouse/partner MUST exchange:

  • All tax returns you filed in the last two years, AND
  • Lists of all investments, businesses, or other income-producing opportunities you have had after you separated—if those they were made or came up before separating.

4) Have the forms reviewed by your court’s family law facilitator or self-help center.

5) Make two copies of all forms (including your property agreement).

6) File your forms with the court clerk.

Turn in your Joint Petition and Judgement of Dissolution form (including both copies of each form) to the court clerk. Also include two envelopes, one addressed to you and your partner.

7) The Judgment of Dissolution and Notice of Entry of Judgment (Form FL-825) is your divorce judgment. The date six months after you first filed your case is when your divorce is final. You cannot get remarried or register a domestic partnership until after that date.

Need Help? Contact Our San Bernardino Divorce Attorneys.

If the above process seems like a lot to handle, that’s because it is. Fees are rarely refundable when it comes to California government, so a single filing mistake can be both costly and stressful. Remember that at any point, our San Bernardino divorce lawyers are ready and willing to help you smooth out the summary dissolution process, filing papers on your behalf while protecting your rights.

Call (909) 315-4588 to see how we can help resolve your marriage’s conclusion.

  • Note for Married Couples: If you realize that you do not want to get a summary dissolution during the six-month wait for your divorce to become final, file a Notice of Revocation of Petition for Summary Dissolution. It invalidates the summary dissolution case.
  • Note for Unmarried Couples: If either one of you decides that you do not want to end your domestic partnership within the 6-month window after filing, you must file a Revocation of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State. If you do this, you must send a copy of the revocation form to your partner by first-class mail. There is no fee.

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