Marriage and divorce – these are the two opposite sides of a love-hate relationship. And sadly, even though dissolution lies somewhere between them, it is also unheard of. To most couples, the dissolution of marriage is a topic that raises the question. So…
What is The Dissolution of Marriage?
According to Google, the dictionary meaning of ‘dissolution’ means the act of formally ending or dismissing an assembly, partnership, or official body. In other words, legally getting a divorce is also called the dissolution of marriage.
For most people, ‘dissolution’ is just an alternate way of saying ‘divorce’ where the couple can end the marriage permanently. Dissolution is the process in which the husband and the wife separate based on mutual consent before requesting the court to terminate the marriage contract.
If you consider this process, it means that you have agreed upon everything with your spouse before filing anything with the court and by everything, we mean – spousal support, child support, child custody, separation of property and debts, etc.
Dissolution of Marriage vs. Divorce: Are they Different?
The differences between the dissolution of marriage vs divorce are debatable topics. But family law experts assert that there is a slight difference.
In a dissolution, the couple files with the court to terminate the marriage contract based on an understanding between themselves regarding all the matters that may come in their way. This includes – alimony, child custody, and support, property, debts, etc.
This process ensures that both the husband and the wife had agreed upon their personal matters before filing a petition to take it to court.
Conversely, a divorce is a legally filed complaint made by either the husband or the wife based on a legitimate cause. In this case, the matter in contention becomes unsolvable to reach an agreement. The party is unwilling to compromise, or the party feeling underprivileged files a complaint with the court and is often settled by the court.
However, concerning matters in dissolution are not so highlighted as it comes with mutual consent. This reduces the time and expense associated with the divorce process.
There is one similarity, though. In both dissolution and divorce, the petition is filed in the domestic division of the local court. If there is no domestic division, then it can be filed under the general division of the local common pleas court.
And this brings us to our next question.
What are the Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage?
The good thing about dissolution is the fact that there is no ground on which the other party can accuse you. And that’s because the concept of dissolution stands on a mutual agreement on all aspects between the husband and the wife.
But, as per divorce law, any divorce complaint must declare and prove one of the following causes as a legal ground for divorce.
- Either the husband or the wife had a previous unresolved marriage, which can be the source of the request for the divorce.
- Intended absence of the opposition party for one year or more
- External affairs
- Vicious behavior
- Illegal contract
- Negligence of duty
- Frequent intoxication
- The opposition party is in the custody of state or federal correctional institution while filing the complaint
- Lived separately at a stretch for more than one year without any cohabitation
- Disagreement (unless the third party denies it)
- Filing a divorce from outside the state in which the marriage had taken place. In that case, the party filing for the case is free from the obligations of the marriage, and the other party within the state remains under those obligations.
Dissolution Process – Explained
The petition that is filed must be legally served on the other spouse. The order may be reversed in some states, and in which case, your lawyer will advise it. It’s then time to wait for the other spouse’s response and state her opinion on whether they agree with the dissolution papers.
As the case proceeds, the petitioner may ask you to clarify the dissolution and explain your reason for wanting it. Both spouses shall have to provide complete financial disclosure to the court that contains the details of all their assets and liabilities.
If the case does not settle, it will move forward to a trial at the time of which both sides can present the evidence and testimony before it all gets decided.
If the process is complicated, it might take you somewhere between 10-12 months or more to reach a final decision. Since all the process requires clear evidence for you to win the legal dispute, you must speak with a lawyer who understands your case, your rights, and other specific details that matter to help you side the resolution in your favor.
What is Legal Separation?
According to family law experts, legal separation is the process of rightful separation of the couple’s assets, debts, property, custody, parenting time, etc., without ending the marriage.
Only two reasons stand in a couple’s way of considering legal separation – Religion and Health Insurance. Some people feel morally obliged to the vows exchanged during the marriage, which greatly concerns the religion.
As a result, the couple chooses separate ways without breaking the marriage. The other reason is – being legally separated enables you to remain on your spouse’s health insurance. And with the increasing cost of health insurance every year, staying on a spouse’s health insurance plan is a huge positive.
The Final Note
Dissolution or divorce – both are decisions you cannot take back once it is made. So, for one last time, put aside all impulsive emotions and focus on cooperating with your spouse. Discuss the difficulties with composure and level head, and it will definitely help you reach an agreement without filing for a dispute. After all, separation is a decision that can only hurt you in the long run if it is left unsettled.