Ending Marriage and Domestic Partnership at the Same Time

A legally recognized domestic partnership was a way for same sex couples to enter into a marriage-type relationship when same sex marriages were illegal. These domestic partnerships provided the same legal protections and responsibilities as marriages, and ending domestic partnerships needed the same legal requirements as ending marriages.

When same sex marriages became legal nationally, many same-sex domestic partners entered into marriages as well. Now, many of them wish to end their marriages and domestic relationships status. Some of these couples may be entitled to divorce through a shortened dissolution process known as summary dissolution.

A summary dissolution is an easy and quick way to get divorced and/or end a domestic partnership. The parties do not need to speak with a judge, and they can do the paperwork themselves. (However, it is highly recommended that the parties separately speak with attorneys, or at least a family law facilitator at a court house.)

To be eligible for a summary dissolution:

  1. The parties must be married and or registered domestic partners for LESS than five years.
  2. At least one of the parties must have been a resident of the state of California for the last six months and a prior to filing for summary dissolution, and a resident of the county where the filing is made.
  3. The parties must have no children together (by birth and/or adoption) during the time of the marriage/domestic partnership, and not be expecting a child at the time of filing for dissolution.
  4. The parties have no more than $6,000 in acquired debt during the marriage/domestic partnership (NOT including motor vehicle loans).
  5. The parties have no more than $41,000 in acquired community personal property during the marriage/ domestic partnership (NOT including motor vehicles).
  6. Either spouse/partner has no more than $41,000 in separate property (NOT including motor vehicles).
  7. Neither spouse/partner owns any interest in real property (land, buildings, etc.) except the rental of their residence that does not have a one-year rental agreement and/or an option to purchase the property.
  8. Both spouses/domestic partners MUST agree to NEVER receive spousal support from the other spouse/domestic partner, in other words, both parties waive their rights forever to spousal support. Both parties must also waive any rights to appeals or new trials regarding their summary dissolution.

For additional information contact the family law facilitator at your local county court, or access the State of California website at www.ca.gov judicial branch section, self-help, summary dissolution sub-section.

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