California Simplified Divorce Procedures

A marriage of 5 years or less may be dissolved by summary action. A Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage may be filed if: (1) either spouse has met the residency requirement for a standard dissolution of marriage; (2) there is an irremediable breakdown of the marriage due to irreconcilable differences; (3) there are no children born of or adopted during the marriage; (4) the wife is not pregnant; (5) neither spouse owns any real estate; (6) there are no unpaid debts exceeding $4,000 incurred during the marriage; (7) the total value of the community property (including any deferred compensation or retirement plans but excluding cars and loans) is less than $25,000; (8) neither spouse has separate property (excluding cars and loans) exceeding $25,000 in value [On January 1 of every odd-numbered year, the dollar amounts in this section may be revised]; (9) the spouses have signed an agreement regarding the division of their assets and the assumption of their liabilities and have signed any documents or given proof of any transfers necessary to effectuate the agreement; (10) the spouses waive any rights to spousal support [maintenance]; (11) the spouses waive their right to appeal the dissolution of marriage and their right to a new trial upon entry of the final dissolution of marriage judgment; (12) the spouses have read and understand the summary dissolution of marriage brochure available from the county clerk; and (13) both spouses desire that the marriage be dissolved. Official mandatory and optional forms for filing for a Summary Dissolution of Marriage are available from the County Clerk of any county. [Annotated California Code; Sections 2400 and 2401, and Judicial Council Forms].

Each state has its own unique filing procedure. When filing for dissolution of marriage in California, you must adhere to the strict filing guidelines and prepare and submit the appropriate mandatory dissolution documents to the county court. You can visit the California state statutes located at: to learn more about these documents. You will discover that some documents may be provided by the California Legal System and others must be constructed on a case-by-case basis containing certain information and criteria to adhere to the California Laws and the filing requirements.