Is There Such a Thing as a Quick Divorce in California?

It’s safe to say that most people going through a dissolution (i.e., divorce) in California find the process to be long and arduous. Unfortunately for many, the process is a necessary evil – support rights must be reviewed and accounted for; property must be divided; debts must be assigned; and in marriages where there are children, a custody and visitation plan must be determined. In complex marriages, such as where at least one of the spouses was a business owner, or where the parties purchased real properties before or during marriage, or after separation, cases can take even longer to finalize.

However, there is hope (for some). California offers Summary Dissolution in specific cases.

What Is A Summary Dissolution?

A summary dissolution is a process in which spouses may dissolve their marriage quickly and without ever having to see a Judge. This means no hearings. No trials. While the six-month waiting period still applies, a summary dissolution allows spouses to be done with the process once they file without having to worry about further court-related appearances. For more information about the length of a typical divorce, check out our Blog article: How Long Will My Divorce Take to Finalize.

Not every marriage meets the requirements for a summary dissolution and only a small percentage of divorces qualify. Below are some of the main requirements.

You qualify for a Summary Dissolution if you and your spouse:

  • Have been married for less than five years;
  • Have no children together, born or adopted;
  • Do not own or rent any land or buildings;
  • Do not owe more than $6,000 for debts acquired during the marriage;
  • Have less than $45,000 worth of property acquired during the marriage;
  • Do not have separate property worth more than $45,000;
  • Agree that neither spouse will ever get spousal support; and
  • Have signed an agreement that divides property and debts.

Either you or your spouse must have also lived in California for the last 6 months and in the county where you file for summary dissolution for the last 3 months.


You will never have to go to a hearing or participate in a trial for your divorce.

You and your spouse will have agreed on every term of your divorce prior to filing.


Both spouses are waiving their ability to request affirmative relief from the court. For example, one spouse might be forfeiting their right to support, whereas under a “regular divorce,” they could be entitled to spousal support (i.e., alimony). In fact, California will not grant a summary dissolution if one spouse wants spousal support. A key requirement of summary dissolution is that both spouses are waiving their right to ever get support from their spouse.

Next Steps

If you believe you and your spouse qualify for a summary dissolution and would like to speak with an experienced Family Law attorney in San Diego about your case, feel free to contact The Zarin Law Firm to schedule your complimentary consultation by using the form field below or calling us at (619) 800-4189. Our firm handles just about every type of Family Law case, including Divorce, Support, Custody and Visitation, and more.