What Are The Eligibility Requirements For Summary Dissolution?

September 14, 2023

A,Divorce,Decree,Document,And,The,Keys,Of,A,CarSummary dissolution is a simplified process for ending a domestic partnership or a marriage in certain states. This process is available to couples who meet specific eligibility requirements and allows for a more efficient and cost-effective dissolution compared to traditional divorce proceedings. In this blog post, we will explore the eligibility requirements for summary dissolution.

1. Residency Requirement

The first eligibility requirement for summary dissolution is a residency requirement. Typically, at least one of the spouses or domestic partners must meet a specific residency period in the state where they are seeking summary dissolution. This requirement ensures that the couple has a significant connection to the state and that the state has jurisdiction to handle their case.

Residency requirements vary by state but commonly range from six months to one year. It is essential to consult the specific laws of your state to determine the exact duration required for summary dissolution eligibility.

2. Short Duration of Marriage or Domestic Partnership

Another significant eligibility requirement for summary dissolution is the short duration of the marriage or domestic partnership. Generally, states set a maximum time limit for how long a couple must have been married or in a registered domestic partnership to qualify for summary dissolution.

This time limit typically ranges from three to five years, depending on the state. If a couple has been married or in a registered domestic partnership for longer than the specified time period, they may not be eligible for summary dissolution and would need to pursue a regular divorce or dissolution process.

3. No Children and No Expectation of Children

To be eligible for summary dissolution, the couple should not have any children together. This means that there are no biological or adopted children from the relationship. Additionally, both parties must certify in writing that they do not have any expectation of having children in the future.

This requirement ensures that there are no complex child custody or support issues involved, making the summary dissolution process more straightforward.

4. Limited Property and Debt

Summary dissolution is designed for couples who have limited assets and debts. States may have specific criteria outlining the maximum value of community property and debts that can be eligible for summary dissolution. These limits exist to prevent abuse of the process and to ensure that couples with complex property or debt division issues go through a more comprehensive divorce or dissolution process.

Each state has its own guidelines for determining what qualifies as limited property and debt. It is crucial to consult the laws of your state to understand these limitations.

5. Waiving Spousal Support

In some states, eligibility for summary dissolution requires both spouses or domestic partners to waive their rights to spousal support or alimony. This means that neither party can seek financial support from the other upon dissolution of the marriage or domestic partnership.

By waiving spousal support, the summary dissolution process can be completed more quickly, as it eliminates the need for negotiations or court determinations regarding financial support.


Summary dissolution offers a simplified and expedited process for couples seeking to end their marriage or domestic partnership. However, not all couples are eligible for this streamlined approach. Meeting the eligibility requirements, such as residency, short duration of the marriage or domestic partnership, no children or expectation of children, limited property and debt, and waiving spousal support, is essential to qualify for summary dissolution.

Understanding these eligibility requirements and consulting the specific laws in your state are crucial steps in determining whether summary dissolution is a viable option for you and your partner. It is also advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that you comply with all the necessary requirements and properly navigate the summary dissolution process.

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