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Hello all! This week’s question comes from Khun “Ann” of North Hollywood, CA, who emailed me regarding a divorce procedure known as Summary Dissolution of Marriage.

Q: “Khun Joey, my husband and I recently got married.  It’s only been about a year and a half, but I think it would be best if he and I got a divorce.  We’ve talked about it and have been to counseling but nothing seems to work.  We both think that a divorce is the best thing for us, but don’t know what to do.  I’ve heard of a joint petition but I’m not exactly sure.  Can you please advise us about this.  Thank you! ” (Khun “Ann”: North Hollywood, CA).

A: Hello Khun Ann. I’m sorry to hear about you and your husband’s marital troubles and that you two are contemplating divorce. If you two are seriously considering divorce, an amicable divorce is surely the best way to go. What I mean by “amicable” is that you and your spouse are willing to cooperate in the divorce procedure and will not argue or dispute any issues. Now, you mentioned a “joint petition”.  A “joint” divorce action, known here in California as a “Summary Dissolution of Marriage”, is an amicable divorce action whereby you and your husband agree to terms of the divorce and will file the petition for the divorce jointly, together.  A summary dissolution is the most amicable, quickest, and most financially sound method that we have in California.   However, not all marriage qualify.  Below, I will outline the requirements for proceeding with a Joint Summary of Dissolution.

Requirements for a Joint Summary of Dissolution of Marriage Action

For you and your spouse to be eligible to file a joint summary of dissolution, the parties to the marriage must meet or satisfy the following criteria:

1. COOPERATION & AGREEMENT – Because this divorce action is considered joint and amicable, you and your spouse must be willing to fully cooperate and must not disagree as to any issue of the marriage.

2.  MARRIED LESS THAN 5 YEARS – You and your spouse have been married less than five (5) years.

2. NO CHILDREN TOGETHER – You and your spouse have no children together that were born or adopted before or during the marriage and the wife, to her knowledge, is not pregnant as of the date the petition for divorce is filed.

3. NO DEBTS OVER $6,000 – You and your spouse must not have any debts in excess of $6,000 that was acquired since the date of the marriage. The $6,000 amount does not include vehicle loans.

4. NO PROPERTY OWNERSHIP - Neither party to the marriage has any interest/ownership in property.

5. NO COMMUNITY PROPERTY TOTALLING OVER $40K – You and your spouse cannot own more than $40,000 worth of community property. Community property is property which is acquired during the marriage.

6. NO SEPARATE PROPERTY TOTALLING OVER $40K – You or your spouse, individually, must not have more than $40,000 (not including cars) in separate property. “Separate property” is property that is acquired before the marriage or after separation by one spouse.

Well khun “Ann” and other readers who have questions on this subject, I hope this week’s article has shed some light as to your option for amicable ending a marital relationship. If you and your spouse feel you two are eligible for this type of divorce, feel free to contact my office so that we can assist you. As always, if you have any questions you would like to be answered in future articles, please email me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check out this and other topics on my website at: WWW.JC4LAW.COM

Disclaimer: The information contained herein have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice unless otherwise specified. If you have a specific question regarding your personal case, please contact the Law Offices of Joseph Chitmongran for a full consultation.