Dissolution vs. Divorce

Marriage Dissolution laws vary from state to state and the information provided here is a general overview. Please consult a marriage dissolution lawyer or attorney in your state for professional attorney advice.

Majority of Marital Disputes Resolved through Negotiations

A majority of marital disputes, even those that start out as divorce complaints are resolved through negotiations between the parties and their legal counsel. Your attorney should be skilled in negotiations in order to avoid more costly litigation, including trial(s), appeals and significant delays.

In order to terminate a marriage by Dissolution, the parties must:

  • Agree on a complete division of their property
  • Determine who will pay the marital debts and obligations
  • Determine who will have child custody of the children, which is referred to as “allocation of parental rights and responsibilities,” and how much time the children will spend with each parent
  • Determine who will pay child support, and calculate the payment
  • Determine whether or not alimony (“spousal support”) will be paid, as well as the amount and duration of the payments

Petition for Dissolution

These Agreements are filed with a Petition for Dissolution and the matter is set for a single court date, which both parties must attend. A Decree of Dissolution, and if applicable, a Decree of Shared Parenting, are then presented to the Court.

A Divorce is a lawsuit filed by one spouse against the other. The Complaint for Divorce must include “grounds” which, in 95% of all cases, is “incompatibility.” This term is used to include any and all marital problems which caused the breakup. The Divorce method is used when the parties cannot agree on one or more issues, whether custody, visitation, property division or support (child support or spousal support).