Getting a divorce in Sacramento

California law is kinda’ different: ‘Summary Dissolution’ — the simplest, legal divorce there is–available both for those in  marriages and for those in domestic partnerships


As discussed in “Updated: Divorce in California,” it’s a good idea to at least consider counseling to deal with the emotional trauma of divorce, and if domestic violence is part of your situation, it’s imperative to address that immediately. A compatible, experienced attorney can help in both areas.

Also, please check the link for an overview of state law.

Domestic violence resources in Sacramento County

Fortunately, different groups and Web sites offer numerous domestic violence resources for Sacramento County residents:

According to the Superior Court, Sacramento County, the quickest, most simple way to end a legally-endorsed relationship is called Summary Dissolution:

Summary Dissolution

A summary dissolution is a quick way to get divorced. But not everybody can use it. Briefly, a summary dissolution is possible for you and your spouse if you:

  • Have no children together;
  • Have been married or been a registered domestic partners less than 5 years;
  • Don’t own or have an interest in any real estate;
  • Don’t owe more than $4,000 in debts; and
  • Have no disagreements about how your belongings and debts are going to be divided up once you are no longer married to each other.

It gets more complicated

From the simple “summary dissolution” scenario, things get a bit more complicated. For one, there’s really one two grounds for divorce in California: “The first is irreconcilable differences, meaning the marriage or partnership cannot be saved. The other reason is incurable insanity which, unlike irreconcilable differences, must be proven.”


That being said, there are specific, restrictive grounds for anullment, and you almost certainly want an attorney because the courts’ ears will “perk up” at any request for a nullity hearing. Check out the courts’ site for grounds and basic explanations.

Residency requirements

Again from the courts’ site:

A dissolution action may be started in Sacramento County if one or both spouses/partners have resided in this county for at least the last 3 months and in the state of California for at least 6 months. Cases involving legal separation or nullity have less strict residency requirements. For legal separation or nullity cases, one or both spouses/partners need only be a resident of this county at the time this case is started. There is no duration of residency requirement for these types of marital actions.

In addition to the residency requirements for starting any type of marital action, there are some additional rules to consider if the other spouse resides outside California. Specifically, a spouse who lives in another state or country can object to jurisdiction by the court in California. In that event, this court may be prevented from making important orders in your case. You should seek legal advice about how to proceed if the other spouse lives outside California and is likely to object to having the case handled here.

Free evaluation

We can help. If you’re ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.