Is Summary Dissolution Your Quick Divorce Answer?

Goldberg JonesDivorce, Divorce Process, Featured Content

Divorce is a long, drawn-out process. It involves countless court dates, meetings with lawyers, and an endless back and forth as the two spouses bicker over every last detail. At least that’s what many people expect. But that’s not always how it goes. In certain situations, summary dissolution in Oregon may be a quick and easy way to end a marriage.

Who Can Qualify for Summary Dissolution?

To qualify for summary dissolution in Oregon, you must fulfill specific requirements. If you don’t meet the criteria, including marriage length, whether or not there are children, the amount of shared property, and more, you’ll have to go the more traditional route. But if you do check off all the boxes, this often streamlines the process a great deal.

The Requirements

Not every marriage works out. At the same time, not every marriage ends in a heated screaming match. Summary dissolution presents a solution in the case of short marriages with few complications where the spouses are on the same page.

The law in Oregon lays out specific guidelines for whether or not a marriage qualifies.

Length of Marriage

As we said, this strategy is generally intended for shorter marriages. However, in this regard, Oregon differs from other states.

A marriage must be shorter than ten years to qualify for summary dissolution.

In many other states, California for example, the number is often five years. This opens the door to more cases, though the longer a marriage, the more likely other factors will flip the breaker.


The presence of children plays a big part in whether or not you can go the summary dissolution route.

You and your spouse can’t have any minor children. This includes children born during the marriage, adopted children, or stepchildren from an earlier relationship.

In fact, women can’t even be pregnant if a couple hopes to qualify. Additionally, if you have children over the age of 18, but who still attend school, that also disqualifies you.

Real Property

Property often becomes a big complication in divorce. As such, owning any land or buildings excludes you from summary dissolution.

Even part ownership or a minor interest cuts this off. Whether this property lies within Oregon or not, doesn’t matter.

Most commonly this is a house or other shared home, but any real estate fits the bill. Mobile homes on rented land, however, do not fall into this category.

Personal Property

You may still qualify for summary dissolution if you have limited property or assets, shared or separate. Again, the amount varies from one state to the next.

In Oregon, the magic number is $30,000. So, if the total assets exceed that amount, you’ll have to go with another strategy. In some states, this amount excludes automobiles.


Like personal property, having too much debt also puts summary dissolution out of reach.

You qualify if you and your spouse have less than $15,000 in unpaid debt, individually or together. This includes student loans, credit card debt, medical bills, car loans, and anywhere else you owe money.

Division of Property

Since summary dissolution aims to keep the situation as simple as possible, you and your spouse must be on the same page when it comes to the division of property.

Know in advance how you intend to split both assets and debts. There’s no time to waste bickering back and forth about who gets the car or that box of kitschy mementos from your honeymoon. Such conflict doesn’t fit in this situation.

Spousal Support

Neither party can request spousal support. This keeps the summary dissolution process streamlined.

These maintenance payments often help one spouse meet financial needs during a divorce. However, that’s not an option if you hope to use this strategy.

Related Reading: How Is Property Divided In Divorce?

Other Divorce Actions

If you want a summary dissolution, you can’t already have other divorce actions pending. In Oregon or elsewhere. This includes divorce, annulment, or separation proceedings that have been filed but have not yet been decided.

Basically, you can’t already have a divorce or other end to your marriage in the works.

Related Reading: Pro Se Divorce: When is DIY the Best Choice?

Temporary Orders

By going with summary dissolution, you waive any rights to temporary orders. Obviously, there won’t be any custody orders, but you can’t ask for things like temporary spousal support or exclusive use of marital property either.

There are, however, exceptions for restraining orders and others that fall under the Family Abuse Prevention Act and the Elderly and Disabled Persons Abuse Prevention Act.


Every divorce has residency requirements, and summary dissolution is no different. Like many other elements, these vary from state to state.

In Oregon, either you or your spouse must be a resident—it’s not necessary for both of you to be residents—and have lived in the state for six continuous months before filing.

This primarily comes up for couples who recently relocated. You don’t have much to worry about this if you’re a longtime resident.

Your situation must meet all these requirements to qualify for summary dissolution in Oregon.

If you don’t check off every last one of these boxes, you’ll have to take a more traditional route to divorce. Summary dissolution works best in short, simple marriages with few complications. And every one of these categories represents a different complication.

Related Reading: The Most Common Mediation Questions Answered