Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Is a Dissolution of Marriage?


Learn more about marriage dissolution and how it differs from traditional divorce.

What is the definition of a divorce? Is it just another way of saying “divorce”? Yes, in most states, a dissolution simply refers to how a couple can end their marriage permanently. However, in a few states, the procedure is quite different. To learn more, keep reading.

Divorce vs. Dissolution

A dissolution of marriage is not the same as a divorce in a few states because it does not end the marriage permanently. In some states, couples can only use dissolution if they agree to the dissolution and how to resolve all of their divorce-related issues, such as child support, child custody, alimony, and property division.

An annulment, on the other hand, effectively voids (or erases) a couple’s marriage. A legal separation is not the same as dissolution. A legal separation allows a couple to ask the court to determine divorce-related issues like child support and spousal support without legally terminating their marriage for religious or other reasons. The couple is “effectively” divorced if a court approves a legal separation, but neither can remarry until they file for a dissolution.

We’ll concentrate on the more common usage of the term in this article.

What Is a Summary Dissolution and How Does It Work?

In some states, dissolution cases are referred to as “summary dissolution,” which is a type of quick divorce. A signed marital settlement agreement addressing child support, custody, property division, and alimony is presented to the court in a summary dissolution. You both agree to waive a trial or judicial intervention by presenting the signed divorce agreement to the judge. To qualify for this accelerated legal process, couples must meet the state’s requirements for summary dissolution.

  • Couples in California, for example, can use the state’s summary dissolution process if they meet the following criteria:
  • For divorce, both spouses must meet the state’s residency requirements.
  • Both spouses agree on the legal grounds for the request (irreconcilable differences).
  • There are no minor children in the household, and neither spouse is expecting a child.
  • The marriage has lasted less than five years.
  • Neither spouse owns any real estate (except a current residence)
  • The couple has no debts totaling more than $4,000 in their marriage (excluding an automobile note)
  • The couple owns less than $25,000 in community property, and neither spouse owns more than $25,000 in separate property.
  • the couple signs a contract dividing their assets and debts from their marriage
  • Neither party has made a request for spousal support.
  • Both spouses agree to give up their right to appeal, and
  • Both partners agree to end the marriage.
  • The cost of this type of divorce is significantly less than a contested divorce in states that recognize it.

Getting a Lawyer

A divorce can be difficult on many levels because it involves potentially complex and emotionally charged issues like child custody and support, property and debt division, and alimony, among others (also known as “spousal support” or “maintenance”).

As a result, spouses contemplating divorce may wish to seek legal counsel. Each of these legal issues, as well as how they might play out in your case, can be explained by an experienced family law attorney. Also, whether you end up settling all issues with your spouse (outside of court) or going through a full-fledged divorce trial, an attorney can prepare all necessary divorce paperwork and ensure that your rights are fully protected.

Speak With One Of Our Divorce Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s divorce attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale will handle your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, divorce mediationcollaborative divorce, and more.

We are experienced divorce attorneys and will fight for you to get you the best possible outcome. Our law firm will represent you fully in court, so you can get on with your life. Call us today for an initial consultation. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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