“Quick and painless” is probably too much to ask for in any divorce, but uncontested divorce, or “summary dissolution,” may alleviate both the emotional and financial toll of a long, hostile court battle. Couples who have decided to divorce may always hope for an amicable resolution, it is important to understand that there may still be serious legal issues that only an experienced divorce attorney can resolve on your behalf. It may be tempting to forego legal representation, but most attempted “do-it-yourself” divorces end in a costly, painful mess.
For the best results in an uncontested divorce case, you should work with the attorneys at Kaspar & Lugay, LLP. You deserve the peace of mind that comes from making sure that all important aspects of your divorce have been resolved, regardless of how you and your spouse get along.
Am I Eligible for a Summary Dissolution?
In order to determine whether you can pursue an uncontested divorce to end your marriage or domestic partnership under the laws of California, you need to review the information in this booklet titled Summary Dissolution Information. While the document itself contains an in-depth checklist of requirements, in short you can file for summary dissolution in California if you and your spouse or domestic partner:
- Do not have children
- Have been married or in a domestic partnership for five years or less
- Do not have marital property (including real property) valued at more than $43,000
- Do not have debts of more than $6,000
- Do not want spousal support (alimony) from each other
- Do not have any disagreements about who gets what in terms of property in the divorce
One of the most common questions we receive in divorce consultations is about whether a court appearance is necessary in an uncontested divorce. The answer is, most of the time it is not. However, summary dissolution is still a legal matter, and you should still consult with an attorney before ending your marriage no matter what.
Dangers of Divorcing Without Proper Legal Representation
If you are looking for a low-cost DIY divorce with the help of a paralegal or mediator, we urge you to be careful. When an individual attempts to handle their own divorce, essential aspects of property division—such as retirement accounts or real estate—are sometimes overlooked. In some cases, upon someone’s death, two different wives have shown up to claim widow status, because an earlier “divorce” was never finalized correctly before a second marriage.
Some other issues that may arise may involve:
- Property division
- Spousal support
- Child custody and child support
Decades of California Legal Experience, Right Here in Santa Barbara
The attorneys at Kaspar & Lugay, LLP, are well-versed in California’s divorce laws and take a holistic approach to solving legal problems, even those in which the parties remain on good terms such as uncontested divorce. Prior to filing for divorce, or after learning a spouse or partner has already filed, contact us online or call 415-889-8734 to arrange a confidential consultation with a divorce attorney near you.