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What is the Difference Between Divorce and Dissolution?

Marriage can be terminated in different ways considering the peculiarities of the situation and the approach of the divorcees. You can both end your legal marital or civil partnerships with divorce or dissolution. Although the procedures have a similar goal, there is a substantial difference between divorce and dissolution. Look closer at both choices to make the top suitable one.

What Are the Two Options

To gain a better picture of the difference between divorce and dissolution, you’d rather start by defining the key concepts. Divorce stands for lawful action to end your marriage. The process is frequently a fault-based one. This implies you have determined the reason for divorce, which is the fault of any partner, to terminate your relationship officially. The key drivers can be cheating, domestic violence, abandonment, etc. 

Meanwhile, dissolution is another way to bring your marriage to an end. But you ought to arrive at a compromise on core marital issues. This may include assets division, child custody, marital support, and so on. It is a very close procedure to an uncontested divorce. In this case, it is quite an option to complete a divorce online and optimize the situation with maximum benefits. 

What Are the Differences

What are the Differences
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Not every divorcee can freely choose either divorce or dissolution. Providing that you are confident you can choose any of the variants, it is recommended to study the differences between divorce and dissolution first so that you are hundreds of percent sure the outcomes of your choice will bring you advantages only. Check out the top common ones:

  1. Reasons – many states oblige you to establish the drivers for divorce primarily. Plus, if you are suffering from domestic violence or accuse your partner of having an extramarital affair, get ready to deliver solid proof to the table. Many courts also allow picking irreconcilable differences as the main driver of marriage termination, which simplifies the process. Meanwhile, with dissolution, things are way easier. You both approve of the main conditions and end your relationship without the need to explain anything. 
  2. Duration – with all the peculiarities and conditions involved, the duration of the two procedures will be different. For dissolution, you only need some time to agree on the main post-marital issues, and your relationships are officially over. For divorce, it can last months or even years before you finish up the process. Mind your readiness to cooperate and the complexity of your case, but the first option will finish sooner anyway. 
  3. Court – divorce procedure can hardly take place out of court. The judge and authorized specialists are usually there to aid you in coping with divorce issues counting child support, property distribution, visitation, etc. While within dissolution, you usually negotiate the top suitable scenario with your partner only. Sometimes you may collaborate with a mediator to guide you. The court office will only review and sign your papers in the latter case. 
  4. Money – with extra processes and specialists involved and more time and effort spent, expect the divorce to cost you more than dissolution. Yet, when comparing marriage dissolution vs. divorce, one shouldn’t get misguided considering the related expenses. Although the divorce will cost you a lot, dissolution won’t come for free, either. You will still have some minor and bigger expenses like legal fees, mediator services or general attorney consultation, and so on.
  5. Children – with all the complications like different expenses or time wasted, the two options may have a different impact on your children. They will be disappointed if your family falls apart in any case. But if you can peacefully settle the issue and avoid conflicts, economic instability, and lengthy procedures by picking dissolution, your kids will suffer less in the aftermath. 

The information is not full, but the general idea is already obvious – if possible, it is preferred to opt for dissolution. In this case, you will manage your life changes peacefully and with mutually beneficial outcomes. You will save much of your resources and have the authority to define your post-marital life. 

Aspect Divorce Dissolution
Definition The legal process of ending a marriage The legal process of ending a domestic partnership or civil union
Applicability Applies to couples who are married Applies to couples who are in a domestic partnership or civil union
Filing requirements One spouse must file a petition for divorce, which the other spouse must respond to Both parties must file a joint petition for dissolution
Grounds for filing Typically, the grounds for divorce are “irreconcilable differences” or fault-based grounds such as adultery, abuse, or abandonment Typically, no fault-based grounds are required, and the parties must simply agree to end the partnership or union
Property division In a divorce, marital property is subject to equitable distribution according to state law In a dissolution, the partners divide their property according to their agreement
Spousal support One spouse may be ordered to pay alimony or spousal support to the other spouse Partners may agree to provide for financial support to each other in a dissolution
Child custody and support Divorcing couples must determine child custody and support arrangements for any children Couples dissolving a partnership must determine child custody and support arrangements for any children they have together
Waiting period Many states require a waiting period before a divorce can be finalized Some states require a waiting period before a dissolution can be finalized, but it is typically shorter than the waiting period for divorce
Finalization The divorce is finalized by a judge or court order The dissolution is finalized by filing the joint petition with the court and receiving a final decree of dissolution

What’s Next

What is the difference between divorce and dissolution? It is the lawful procedures and steps which may vary. If you believe that divorce is the only next logical step, you should get to the subsequent steps:

  • Discover the residency requirements. Commonly, you ought to be a resident for a certain time before you can reach for divorce services.
  • Complete the divorce forms, which may vary regarding your place of residence.
  • Hand in the forms and cover the filing fee.
  • Pass a copy of the docs to your soon-to-be-ex.
  • Attend court hearings as required.
  • Come to an agreement during the court hearings with the aid of the relevant professionals.
  • Attain the final decree.
  • Get your divorce over.

The easier option, a dissolution, will look approximately like this:

  • Determine if dissolution is a lawful option in your state.
  • Fill out the necessary dissolution forms, which may vary from state to state.
  • Prepare a written agreement that outlines the terms of the dissolution.
  • Hand in the forms and agreement and cover the filing fee.
  • Attend court hearings if required.
  • Get the final decree to dissolve the marriage.

In the latter variant, you can also choose online services to terminate your marriage. You will complete all necessary forms on the Internet and email them to your family law office for approval. This enables you to get your marriage final without extra time, money, and effort spent. 


Signing papers
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Divorce and dissolution both enable you to end your relationships officially. Regarding your local legal requirements, you can pick any variant to terminate your marriage or civil partnership. Dissolution may seem to be a streamlined and cheap option, but it cannot do any good if the panthers are not ready to cooperate and commit to the procedure. Also, keep in mind that the assistance of a trustworthy family lawyer is desirable in any case so that you are confident about your choices and their impact on your and your family’s future. Revise the options you have to bring your relationships to an end legally, study the conditions and possible aftermath and choose wisely without hesitation. 

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