Summary dissolution is a type of divorce in California for people with
no real property, limited value community property (not including vehicles),
limited value separate property (not including vehicles), no children
between them under 18 by birth or adoption, small community debt, and
who have been married for less than five years.
Every few years the state legislature updates the requirements for summary
dissolution, usually increasing the amount of property value and the amount
of community debt. It has never changed how the long the marriage (or
domestic partnership) has lasted, nor whether the couple has children.
This year, only have the property values been increased, but both parties
wanting to divorce must read and sign a document stating that they have
read Form FL 810. The amount of debt accrued during the marriage has not
changed ($6000.00) The process also includes information regarding same-sex
couples that married in California, moved, but whose marital status is
not recognized by their new state.
To qualify for a summary dissolution in California, according to the California
- Have been married for less than 5 years (from the date you got married
to the date you separated);
- Have no children together born or adopted before or during the marriage
(and you are not expecting a new child now);
- 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;
- Have less than $43,000 worth of property acquired during the marriage;
(Do not count your motor vehicles.)
- Do not have separate property worth more than $43,000; (Do not count your
- Agree that neither spouse will ever get spousal support; AND
- Have signed an agreement that divides your property (including your motor
vehicles) and debts.
In addition, if you are married, either you or your spouse must have lived in California
for the last six (6) months and in the county where you file for summary
dissolution for the last three (3) months. If you do not meet the residency
requirement, you can still file for a legal separation but you have to
go through the regular legal separation process, or wait until you meet
the residency requirements for a divorce.
EXCEPTION: Same-sex married couples who got married in California but do not live
in California and live in a state (or states) that will not dissolve a
same-sex marriage, can file to end their same-sex marriage in California,
regardless of these residency requirements. You must file in whichever
county you were married. If this is your situation, talk to a lawyer with
experience in same-sex marriage laws.
For further information, contact your county’s local bar association
or court. Or, log on to the California Courts’ website at