Summary Dissolution of Marriage

Overview: A Summary Dissolution is possible for couples who:

  1. Have no children together
  2. Have been married five years or less
  3. Do not own very much
  4. Do not owe very much
In a Summary Dissolution both parties will sign a joint petition.
For more information, visit The California Courts/Judicial Council Self-Help Center on this topic.

Fees: See Fee Schedule
Make checks and/or money orders payable to Kern County Superior Court

Process: With a Summary Dissolution, no court appearance is necessary.
Overview of process:

  1. Both husband and wife prepare and file a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution together with an optional property settlement agreement.
  2. After a six-month waiting period, during which either party can stop the process if he or she changes his or her mind, both parties must submit the paperwork for the Final Dissolution Order.
Couples who choose this method of getting a divorce do not have the right to ask for a new trial or the right to appeal the case to a higher court.
Steps to Obtain a Summary Dissolution if you are representing yourself:
  1. Contact the court in your local area and request a Summary Dissolution packet.
  2. Read and follow the information booklet/instructions provided with the packet before completing the forms and filing them with the court.
  3. Both parties must sign and date all copies of the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution and the Property Settlement Agreement form.
  4. Attach a copy of the Property Settlement Agreement form to each copy of the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution.
  5. File all copies with the Court. The clerk will:
    1. stamp the date on all copies
    2. keep the originals of each document
    3. return the remaining two (2) copies to you. One is for the husband and one is for the wife.
    4. Proposed Judgment and envelopes addressed to you and your spouse.
  6. Pay the filing fee.
  7. Place your copies of all the documents in a safe place.
  8. The Court will process your Judgment following the 6 month waiting period if your proposed Judgment was submitted at time of filing.

Please Note: Either party may file the Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution and the Request for Final Judgment with the court after both parties have signed both documents.