Dissolution of Marriage

January 31, 2024 | By Doppelt and Forney
Dissolution of Marriage

Our firm understands that every client is unique and their problems are individual. Our job is to ascertain the facts and then apply the facts to the law to implement strategies and techniques which are designed to protect rights and obtain client's goals. In summary, for dissolution cases, it is important to make sure that the minimum legal requirements are met.

Having an attorney can assist in making sure that the pleadings are done correctly and that the Judgment is entered. It is important to hire the right San Diego divorce attorney and one who will give you personal service and realistic expectations.

Summary Dissolution: this is a divorce however is limited in San Diego to specific factual patterns. These include, but are not limited to, marriage of less than five years, no children, no real property, no retirements and personal property less than an aggregate value of $25,000. These requirements change over the years as do the local rules and the above is a summary only.

In this type of divorce, the pleadings are minimal and can be filled out by a person representing themselves [pro per] or by the hiring of an attorney. In addition, in San Diego, a free service is provided by the Family Law Facilitator which assists persons representing themselves in filling out the forms properly and making sure all of the legal requirements are adhered to. In this divorce, both parties must agree to all of the terms and conditions of the agreement in addition to the mandatory requirements for the filing so this is limited both factually and by agreement only.

This Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage is contained on Family Law Form 800. In order to proceed with a summary dissolution in San Diego County, this must be a joint petition for a summary dissolution. If both parties do not agree, then the only option is a "regular" dissolution.

In a summary dissolution, both parties must certify under penalty of perjury that they have read and understood the Summary Dissolution Information booklet which is on Family Law form 810. One or the other must have lived in San Diego County for at least three months prior to the filing of the petition for a dissolution of marriage and six months in the State of California. There must be no minor children.

Neither party may have any interest in any real property anywhere however a lease is acceptable as long as this terminates within one year from the date of the filing of the petition. Except for obligations for automobiles, the parties cannot owe more than $5,000. Both parties must complete a Family Law Form 150 which is the Income and Expense Declaration. This is a pleading signed under penalty of perjury which lists all of the income and all of the expenses and this must be disclosed and served upon the other party.

In addition, both parties must complete and serve copies of the worksheets on pages 8, 10 and 12 of the booklet. In addition, the wife can choose to have her former name restored and this is her unilateral right. There can be no spousal support ordered in a summary dissolution. In addition, the marriage cannot be for a duration of more than five years. The wife must certify that she is not pregnant as well as not having children between the parties.

Both parties must disclose any investment, business or other income-producing opportunities that have arisen since separation based upon investment or business or other factors which arose during the marriage. In California, the presumption is that all property acquired prior to date of marriage is separate property.

In California, the presumption is that all property acquired from date of marriage to date of separation is community property. In California, the presumption is that all property acquired post date of separation is separate property. Once the disclosure requirements are satisfied, this will meet the statutory requirement for the preliminary declarations of disclosure.

There is a notice on the bottom of the form on the back side that both parties need to read carefully and consider. The booklet and form are available at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp and there are many forms and other useful information on this website in general. An attorney can make this process less frustrating and to lessen tension and conflict and the legal fees for a summary dissolution of marriage are not as much as for a standard divorce.

Contact Us Online or call us at 858-312-8500 in Southern California.

Our lawyers will be pleased to offer you a complimentary and confidential consultation up to a length of 30 minutes to discuss strategies and techniques to assist in protecting your rights and trying to obtain your legal goals.