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Divorce and Dissolution: What’s the Difference?

Divorce and Dissolution What is the Difference

The divorce process can be confusing because often, the legal terminology varies from the common day to day use of the words. Having said this, the court frequently uses the two terms; “divorce” and “marriage dissolution” interchangeably. Knowing how to distinguish between the terms, however, can help avoid confusion.

What is a divorce?

Divorce is the term that is frequently used in day to day conversation. Some state courts use “dissolution of marriage” for the same action. A divorce means legal dissolution of marriage by a court or other competent authority. It is used where the two parties disagree and is started by filing a complaint. If the two spouses disagree on an issue like child support, child visitation rights, sharing of assets, payment of attorney’s fees, court fees, you need to include a request for it when you file your divorce petition or the court may deny that to you.

Difference between divorce and dissolution of marriage

Although these two terms are frequently used interchangeably, the technical term may be used in court or on the forms. For instance, the state of Ohio makes a distinction between divorce and dissolution of marriage, although the result still remains unchanged and results to a final end to the marriage. In Ohio, divorce is used in situations where a spouse accuses the other of being the cause of the marriage collapse.

On the other hand, the term dissolution of marriage is used when neither spouse contests the decision. It is usually faster and less expensive. In the case of resolution of marriage, the parties come to a unilateral agreement regarding issues consigning them before filing a divorce petition. Thus, they are able to address the issues of property, child custody and child support issues and settlement of their debts.

Dissolution of marriage may include any of the following:

  • The two parties need to appear at the final hearing, or the case will be cancelled.
  • The both spouses substitute any financial or other information prior to filing the case, and there is no court-ordered disclosure of assets.
  • The two spouses file a joint divorce petition.
  • The dissolution of marriage is generally uncontested.
  • Both the spouses consent to all issues, like child custody, child support, spousal support, share of property, debts, household goods and property, retirement accounts, life insurance, and so on prior to filing a complaint.
  • There are no temporary orders in the course of the resolution process.
  • There are no restraining orders inhibiting any of the party involved from discarding or selling property during the time that the case is pending.
  • Resolution of marriage doesn’t involve trial.

A divorce however involves the opposite of the above factors. A resolution of marriage filed in Ohio must be concluded within 90 days of the filing of the petition.


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