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Dissolution of Marriage

Filing a petition for dissolution in the state of California is the path to take when you want to legally end your marriage. Whether your spouse is serving you with a divorce packet or you are ready to initiate the process, Scales of Justice, LLP is here to help.


In order to file for dissolution in the state of California and the city of San Diego, one of the parties has to have lived in California for the last six (6) months and have lived in San Diego County for the last three (3) months. Other than that, you do not need a reason to move forward with a Dissolution/Divorce, we are here to help you start the process and navigate the complexities of the California Family Code as you try to move forward with your life.


In cases where parties are in agreement on all issues of splitting up their lives, including custody, visitation, child/spousal support, and property; there is still a process that must be established and followed. First, one spouse (“Petitioner”) files the initial paperwork and serves the other party with those documents and a Response Packet. Then the other spouse (“Respondent”) has thirty (30) days to respond to that packet. If the Respondent fails to respond in that time frame, then the Petitioner can go to the clerk and seek the finalization of the divorce through a default judgment. If the Respondent files his/her response in the proper timeframe, then the parties can either create a marital settlement agreement where all parties agree to the terms of the divorce or the parties can get a determination from a judge through a court hearing or trial. Once an agreement has been met or a determination made by a judge, then one of the parties files a judgment packet with the court, and only at that point is the dissolution of the marriage legally binding and final. Even if parties initiate the legal process of dissolution in an amicable fashion, events often get in the way of that agreement; which is why it is important to have the advice and assistance of an attorney proficient in the law and procedure on your side.

Summary Dissolution

Summary Dissolutions are a unique offering by the State of California for couples that meet very specific criteria who got married, but not long thereafter decided to end that marriage and have not acquired much property, debt, or any children during that marriage.The requirements are:

  1. You and your spouse have been married or registered domestic partners for less than five (5) years at the time of filing the packet.
  2. There were no children born or adopted before or during the marriage and no one is pregnant at the time of filing.
  3. The parties do not own or have any interest in any “real property” (such as a house, condo, rental property, land, or 1-year lease or option to buy).
  4. The combined debt acquired since marriage is less than $6,000 (excluding auto loans).
  5. The parties do not own separate property totaling more than $38,000.
  6. Neither party is requesting and will never request spousal support.
  7. Both parties have signed a written agreement as to how to divide the property and debt that has accrued during the marriage.

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