Marriage Dissolution vs. Divorce

A marriage dissolution is much easier to obtain than a divorce in most states. As the divorce laws vary from state to state, there will be some minor differences between what is stated here and the actual law in your state. However, the broad definitions of marriage dissolution and divorce are the same in most states.

Marriage Dissolution

A marriage dissolution is awarded when both spouses want to part ways without a fight. The decree is by mutual consent and there are no pending disputes for the court to resolve. Both parties are in agreement about the division of property, child custody, child support, and spousal support or alimony. If both the parties have reached an agreement on all these and any other issues they might have, then the court grants a dissolution of marriage. Here the court does not have to decide on any issue – whether financial or on child custody. This is the quickest way to get out of a marriage that has broken down irrevocably. It frees both the spouses to move ahead with their lives. The children too are less impacted psychologically from such a parting of ways.


Some times, the spouses are unable to reach an agreement that is mutually satisfying to both parties. This can be on the issue of divorce itself. One party might want the marriage to continue while the other wants to dissolve the marriage. In other cases, the spouses might not have come to an agreement on the financial division – who will get to keep the house, who will pay off the debts, or on child custody and visiting rights. Such acrimonious disputes are left to the court to decide. In this event, the dissolving of the marriage is called a divorce. A divorce is an adversary filing with the court getting to decide who will pay and how much. The court will also decide who will get to keep the children and fix visiting rights for the other parent.

A divorce proceeding involves many hearings before coming to a conclusion. A dissolution, on the other hand, is awarded after a single appearance in court.

Those who want a quick exit from the marriage prefer a dissolution and engage lawyers who will negotiate the financial and child rights of the parties involved. This results is a speedy resolution of the case and lets both the spouses move forward in their lives.

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