Dissolution vs Divorce [What You Need To Know]

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dissolution vs divorce - divorce vs dissolution - dissolution of marriage - marriage dissolution - marital dissolution

Wondering what’s the difference between dissolution vs divorce?

After you read this article, you’ll understand:

  • dissolution vs divorce
  • what is a dissolution of marriage
  • difference between dissolution and divorce
  • how to file a petition for dissolution of marriage

So, let’s dive right in.

Table of Contents

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What is a Dissolution of Marriage

We all know what a divorce is.

But what is a dissolution of marriage?

A dissolution of marriage is the formal, legal ending of a marriage.

Basically, it has the same end result as a divorce.

And a dissolution of marriage completely ends your marriage.

What is Dissolution?

When we are talking about marriage dissolution, dissolution is another way of saying “divorce.”

Really, dissolution refers to the process of getting a divorce.

Let’s dig deeper into the dissolution of marriage.

what is dissolution of marriage - dissolution of marriage meaning - what is a dissolution of marriage - what is dissolution

What is Dissolution of Marriage?

A marital dissolution is another way of saying a ‘no-fault divorce.’

When you file a petition for dissolution of marriage, you can list the grounds for divorce as “irreconcilable differences.”

So, if it’s basically a no-fault divorce, why would you chose a divorce vs dissolution?

Couples seeking a decree of dissolution have one major difference over a normal divorce.

They have to agree on everything throughout the divorce process.

This means that, without divorce lawyers, mediation, or the courts, they have to figure out:

  • child custody
  • child support
  • alimony
  • division of assets
  • division of debts

It’s very rare when couples can get a dissolution vs divorce.

Related: How a Mother Can Lose a Custody Battle

Dissolution vs Divorce

The first thing we should cover is what divorce and a dissolution of marriage have in common.

Both divorce and marital dissolution result in legally ending a marriage.

Divorce and marriage dissolution both make you include the terms of your separation agreement.

These terms address things like:

As an overview, divorce vs dissolution turns out pretty similar.

But let’s talk about the differences between dissolution vs divorce.

Related: How Can A Father Get Full Custody of His Child

Divorce vs Dissolution

When filing for divorce, there is usually one person who is at fault.

When one person is at fault, it can easily lead to a contested divorce.

Grounds for divorce where one person is at fault include:

  • adultery
  • abandonment
  • going to jail
  • inability to have sex
  • emotional or physical harm
  • pregnancy outside of marriage
  • insanity
  • substance abuse
  • spouses too closely related

A person would choose divorce vs dissolution when they cannot agree on the terms of their separation.

A divorce is a legal decree that ends a marriage.

After a divorce gets finalized, the spouses are no longer legally bound to each other per the divorce laws.

Now, let’s talk about a dissolution of marriage compared to divorce.

Related: What Not To Do During A Custody Battle

Dissolution of Marriage

Marital dissolution gets used when:

  • it is a no-fault divorce
  • both parties agree to the terms of separation

With a dissolution, you don’t need any reason to divorce other than not wanting to be married anymore.

But if you do have a reason for filing for divorce, you can still file a petition for dissolution of marriage.

For dissolution of marriage, spouses have to fully agree on every issue for the entirety of the divorce.

When it comes to dissolution vs divorce, marital dissolution is much cheaper.

But there is a trade off for a getting a cheap divorce.

It’s that you have to be able to settle every issue without the court’s involvement.

That is, as long as both parties can work out all the details on their own about:

  • property division
  • child support
  • child custody
  • child visitation
  • alimony
  • division of debts

A dissolution of marriage is also the quickest and least emotional way to end a marriage.

When both parties can agree on everything, they can petition for the dissolution of marriage.

A marital dissolution cuts out a lot of the divorce process.

It also eliminates divorce lawyer negotiations and mediation, which can cost thousands.

Related: What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody

Timeline Between Dissolution vs Divorce

Let’s compare the time it takes to finalize dissolution vs divorce.

The average length of divorce is:

  • no disputes: 8 months
  • disputes: 12 months

But the dissolution of marriages is much shorter.

The final hearing for a marital dissolution must take place within 90 days of filing a marital dissolution agreement.

This is because you don’t have divorce lawyers negotiating on every aspect of the divorce.

You also don’t have to attend mediations or multiple hearings.

Cost of Dissolution vs Divorce

The average cost of divorce is about $17,300.

But the average cost of marital dissolution is about $5,000.

On average, you will save $12,000 EACH if you go with dissolution vs divorce.

Those savings come from:

  • no mediations
  • zero negotiations
  • minimal court appearances
  • minimal divorce lawyer involvement
petition for dissolution of marriage - decree of dissolution - marital dissolution agreement - certificate of dissolution of marriage

Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

Do you need a special form for a petition for dissolution of marriage?

To get a marriage dissolution, one spouse must file a petition for dissolution of marriage.

While the marital dissolution agreement varies from state to state, they all include:

  • basic information about you and your spouse
  • information about the marriage
  • information about any minor children
  • the grounds for divorce

Along with these topics, the petition for dissolution of marriage will ask about:

  • child custody
  • child support
  • child visitation
  • alimony
  • division of property
  • division of debts

With a petition for dissolution of marriage, the courts make sure that you and your spouse agree on everything.

Once you have filed your petition for dissolution of marriage at your local Superior Court, what’s next?

Related: How Long Does A Divorce Take

Getting Your Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage

After you file your petition for dissolution of marriage, you have to serve your spouse.

Your spouse will have to respond with whether they agree with the marital dissolution agreement.

The final hearing for a dissolution happens within 90 days from filing the petition for dissolution.

When Is a Marriage Dissolved?

Your marriage dissolution is final after the final judgement.

The courts will give you a decree of dissolution.

Your decree of dissolution includes the judge’s decisions on the case’s issues.

The dissolution of marriage is final when the judge signs the divorce decree.

A decree of dissolution will be issued by the state.

This is a document proving that your marriage has ended.

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