Dissolution of Marriage
Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in the State of California. The answers given on this webpage only relate to the law of the State of California. For any other states, please contact lawyers in specific jurisdictions.
- The parties have been married less than 5 years between the date of marriage and the date of separation.
- The parties have no minor children together and the wife, to her knowledge, is not pregnant as of the date the case is filed.
- Neither party has any interest / ownership in real estate.
- The parties’ community property is not worth more than $40,000 (not including cars).
- Neither party has separate property worth more than $40,000 (not including cars).
- The total of the parties’ community debts (other than cars) is $6,000 or less.
- Parties do not want spousal support from each other.
- Spouses agree on how their assets and debts are going to be divided.
Of course, as with a regular divorce, the general jurisdictional requirements to file for dissolution of marriage in California must also be satisfied, as follows:
- At least one of the spouses has lived in California for the last six months and in the county where the case is filed for the last three months preceding filing of the action, or
- If the spouses are the same sex and were married in California but are not residents of California and neither of them lives in a place that will allow them to divorce, then they can file the Summary Dissolution of Marriage case in the county in which they were married.
- The main difference is that a judgment of legal separation does not terminate marital status (i.e., neither party can enter into a new marriage until the existing marriage is dissolved by death of the other party or by a judgment of dissolution.) Most of the time, the parties obtain legal separation when the spouses do not want to live together but cannot divorce for religious or personal reasons. For example, one of the parties has a preexisting medical condition (for which new coverage would not be available) and wants to retain eligibility for medical insurance available through the other spouse’s.
- There is no waiting period in a legal separation.
- Both spouses have to agree to a legal separation (i.e., if one spouse wants a separation, but the other spouse wants a divorce, legal separation may not be granted.)