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Summary Dissolution

A Summary Dissolution is Quicker Than a Typical Divorce, but There are Strict Guidelines as to Who Can Obtain One.

A Summary Dissolution is a quicker and easier way to get divorced or end a domestic partnership. However, not every marriage will qualify for a Summary Dissolution. You and your spouse must agree to all the terms before you may petition the court for a Summary Dissolution. Some of the main requirements for this type of divorce are:


  • You have been married or partners for less than 5 years

  • You have no children together, and no one is pregnant

  • You do not own or lease real estate. There is an exception for leases if you rent the home or apartment you live in, and the lease expires within a year of filing for a divorce

  • You owe less than $6,000 in debts acquired between the wedding date and the day you split up. Car loans are exempt from this calculation.

  • You do not have more than $47,000 of marital assets (community property), excluding the value of any cars.

  • You each did not have more than $47,000 in assets before marriage (separate property). This also includes any separate property you acquired during the marriage, i.e., an inheritance, a monetary gift explicitly made to one spouse, a settlement or jury award from a personal injury case. (This is not a complete list of what may be considered separate property)

  • You agree that neither spouse will ever get spousal support.

  • Have signed an agreement that divides your property


A Summary Dissolution is still a divorce, so you will be bound to the residency requirements and the 6 month waiting period before the divorce can be finalized.


Either spouse can stop the Summary Dissolution at any time during the 6 month waiting period. Once the request to cancel the Summary Dissolution is granted, the Summary Dissolution is invalidated. If one or both spouses still wish to proceed with a divorce, they may proceed by filing for a standard divorce.


As California is a no-fault state, either spouse may file for a divorce for any reason, and the other spouse cannot stop the process. 

Summary Dissolution in San Jose can be a complicated matter.

The Law Office of James Chau, P.C., represents clients in San Jose, California, and all surrounding areas.

For more information and to schedule a personal consultation with the Law Offices of James Chau, P.C., don't hesitate to contact us online or call our San Jose, California office at (408) 899-8364.

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