On the eve of their third anniversary, Dwight and Angelo decided their domestic partnership just wasn’t working anymore. They both worried that terminating their relationship could be expensive and stressful. But they also felt it was the right thing to do and hoped to move quickly. They began to explore their options. It looked like the easiest way to dissolve their domestic partnership might be through something called summary dissolution.
Ending a Domestic Partnership
Domestic partnerships and marriages end through ‘dissolution.’ It’s just usually called a ‘divorce,’ especially with married couples.
Summary dissolution offers couples an easier, shorter way to terminate their relationship. The catch is that the couple must qualify by meeting all of a long list of requirements. For purposes of this article, we are splitting that list into requirements related to the relationship and those related to the couple’s property.
Relationship-Related Requirements for Summary Dissolution of a Domestic Partnership
Couples seeking summary dissolution must meet the following requirements:
- Both partners must agree to the dissolution. In fact, the parties must complete a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership form, sign it before a notary public, and file it with the court.
- The domestic partnership must have been registered for 5 years or less.
- No children were born or adopted by the couple before or during the domestic partnership.
- Neither partner is pregnant.
People who do not meet these criteria will have to seek a more traditional divorce.
Property-Related Requirements to Meet Before Trying for Summary Dissolution
Whether filing for divorce or applying for a summary dissolution, we strongly encourage you to discuss property division with an attorney. That’s because this part of a summary dissolution or divorce can be very complicated.
However, couples that want to terminate their partnership must meet the following criteria:
- They can’t own any land or buildings.
- The couple also cannot be renting any land or buildings except for their home. But you also cannot have a one-year lease or option to buy a particular property.
- For summary dissolution, couples cannot have acquired more than $6,000 in debts since the date of their domestic partnership. This does not include auto loans.
- The couple cannot have acquired more than $45,000 in property during the domestic partnership, excluding cars.
- Neither party wants support from the other.
Finally, the couple must have signed an agreement that:
- Divides property and debts, or
- States that they do not have community property or debts.
Although summary dissolution of a domestic partnership is easier than divorce, not everyone qualifies. To discuss your options, please call today.
We Can Help Dissolve Your Domestic Partnership
Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce, legal separation, and annulment. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We assist clients along California’s Northern to Southern Coast, including San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin, San Jose, Gold River, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, and surrounding communities.