Determine if You Qualify to File Joint Summary Dissolution
You and your spouse would qualify if you: (1) have been married less than 5 years on the date you file your Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution; (2) have no children together that were adopted or born before or during the marriage (and are not pregnant now); (3) do not own or have an interest in any real estate (house, condominium, rental property, land, or a 1-year lease or option to buy); (4) do not owe more than $6,000 for debts acquired since the date of your marriage (do not count auto loans); (5) have less than $36,000 worth of property acquired during the marriage (do not count your cars); (6) do not have separate property worth more than $36,000 (do not count money you owe on the property or auto loans); (7) agree that neither spouse will ever get spousal support; AND have signed an agreement that divides your property and debts; (8) or your spouse have lived in California for the last 6 months and in the county where you will file for the last 3 months
Obtain Your Local Information Booklet and Necessary Forms
You can obtain the Summary Dissolution Booklet form the Court located in the county where you will file. This is Form FL-180. Read it and use the worksheets provided to determine the value of your community and separate property. You will also need to obtain the following Forms: (1) FL-800 Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage; (2) FL-150 Income and Expense Declaration; (3) FL-820 Request for Judgment, Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, Notice of Entry of Judgment; (4) FL-831 Notice of Revocation of Petition for Summary Dissolution;
Exchange Financial Information and Determine Your Property Settlement
You and your spouse must each fill out Form FL-150 (Income and Expense Declaration) independently with your information. Once you have completed form FL-150, you must exchange forms. Your spouse will give you his/her completed FL-150 and you will give him/her your completed FL-150. Then, using the Court Booklet worksheets determine your property settlement. Once you have agreed and using the sample provided in the booklet write your agreement and sign it. Remember, both of you must sign the property settlement agreement.
File for Dissolution
Complete Form FL-800 (Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage) and sign it. Remember both you and your spouse must sign it. Attach to Form FL-800, your Property Settlement. Once you have completed and signed Form FL-800, file it with the Court. Make sure you have one copy for yourself and one for your spouse. Also, be prepared to pay the necessary filing fee. The clerk will keep the original and return the copies to you and your spouse.
Wait Six Months and File Your Request for Judgment, Judgment, and Notice of Entry of Judgment
After six months have passed from the date you filed your joint petition for summary dissolution, Form FL-800 with you property settlement, you can file form FL-820 (Request for Judgment, Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, Notice of Entry of Judgment). Complete form FL-820 and bring two copies, along with two stamped envelopes to the Court. One envelope should be addressed to you and another one to your spouse. The clerk will take the original form FL-820, the two copies and the envelopes. You will receive in the mail the signed judgment from the Court. Remember - your marriage has not ended until you have received form FL-820 from the Court and it notes the date of termination of your marriage. Once you receive the FL-820 from the Court your marriage has been terminated and your status has been returned to that of a single person.
What if You or Your Spouse Change Your Mind?
You or your spouse can stop the process by completing form FL-830 (Notice of Revocation of Petition for Summary Dissolution) and filing it with the Court where you filed your initial FL-800 Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage. This can be done at any time during the six-month waiting period or at any time BEFORE the other person files a Request for Judgment, Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, and Notice of Entry of Judgment (form FL-820).