Kevin Qualls Family Law
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The end of a marriage through a summary dissolution

While it might not apply to most situations in which a couple is choosing to move forward with the end of a marriage in California, some might be able to expedite the process by using a summary dissolution. There are certain factors that must be in place for a summary dissolution, and it might be necessary for a couple to move forward with a conventional divorce. But, this is an option to consider. It must be remembered, however, that a summary dissolution is a divorce and not a legal separation.

To be able to use a summary dissolution, the couple is required: to have been married for less than five years from the time of the wedding to the date of the separation; to not have any children together who were born or adopted prior to or while the marriage was in place and are not expecting a child at the time of the dissolution; to not own any buildings or land; and to not rent buildings or land apart from the current residence provided there is not a one-year lease or an option to purchase.

The couple must not owe more than $6,000 in debts that accrued from the time the couple was married -- this is known as community obligations. This will not calculate any car loan as part of the total amount. In addition, there cannot be more than $41,000 in property or separate property that was acquired while the couple was married. The cars cannot be counted in this amount either. The couple must also agree that there will be no spousal support awarded, and there is a signed agreement that will separate property and debts including motor vehicles.

Finally, one spouse or the other must have resided in California for the previous six months and in the county where the summary dissolution is filed for the previous three months. Without these requirements being met, it is still possible to file for a legal separation, but the couple will have to follow the conventional process or wait until the residency requirements are met.

This might seem to be slightly confusing when considering it, but a summary dissolution is actually a fast and economical way to conclude a marriage without having to deal with numerous items in dispute. Speaking to a legal professional who is widely experienced in divorce issues can help in determining whether a summary dissolution is the right option.

Source:, "Do You Qualify For A Summary Dissolution?," accessed on July 12, 2016

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