Just like when a couple is going through a divorce, a dissolution of marriage requires expert representation and should not be taken lightly.
Divorce vs. Dissolution
Between “divorce,” “annulment,” and “dissolution,” there are a few marriage-related terms that can be easy to confuse. The difference between a dissolution and a divorce is all in the filing with the court and the procedure that follows.
To understand the differences, let's look at the similarities. In both a divorce and a dissolution you get a final court order that:
- Terminates the marriage
- Allocates all debts and assets
- Sets forth all support orders, including child and spousal
- Provides the terms of the parenting arrangement
The difference is in the path to the end result. In a dissolution, the parties have worked out all issues and reached an agreement on all terms, including debts, assets, child support, spousal support, and parenting.
The agreements are set forth in a document called a Separation Agreement. If the parties have entered into a shared parenting plan, where child custody will be shared, then that arrangement is set forth in a separate document called a Shared Parenting Plan. The Separation Agreement is filed with the court with the initial Petition for Dissolution and the Shared Parenting Plan is submitted for approval or filed based on your local court's procedure. There is only one hearing scheduled, and that is the Merits hearing. In a dissolution, one can get to an agreement by direct negotiation using an attorney to negotiate and mediate (also known as the Collaborative Law Process).