Everything about the Dissolution of Marriage, a practical and accessible summary

There are several ways to dissolve marriage, in this article we discuss in turn several points such as:

– The petition of marriage

– The simplified of marriage

– The certificate of marriage

– The procedure for dissolution of marriage.

What is the dissolution of marriage?

Marriage dissolution is the precise and legal end of a marriage given by a court, but we are also used to using the term divorce.

A marriage dissolution puts a definitive end to your marital relationship and it is also the end of a legal commitment.

It is important not to be confused with a marriage annulment. Marriage annulment and divorce are two different procedures which nevertheless lead to the same consequence: the dissolution of marriage.

The annulment of the marriage has particular consequences: the marriage is deemed never to have taken place, the partners finding themselves in the same situation as if they had never been married.

How do you get a dissolution of marriage?

To obtain a marriage dissolution or divorce, one of the spouses must file a petition for divorce, also known as a petition for dissolution of marriage.

The dissolution of the marriage form varies by state and can be found on your state court’s website. This form usually asks for traditional information about you and your spouse (Names, addresses, dates of birth and wedding date, as well as information about minor children) and you will be asked to fill in the reason or reason for which you are asking. the divorce.

Note that now each state proposes the dissolution of marriage without fail.

In order to better inform your petition for dissolution of marriage, you will be asked to position yourself on the following questions:

– Childcare arrangement

– Child support

– Alimony for the future ex-spouse

– Distribution of all goods …

petition for dissolution of marriage

Is it an obligation to go through a lawyer to initiate the dissolution of the marriage?

It is generally recommended that you speak with a lawyer, and if possible a divorce lawyer, so that you can understand all of your rights and the specific procedures required in your state. But this is not a requirement. By mutual agreement with your spouse, you can decide to take charge of the dissolution of your marriage.

This will be fairly straightforward the moment you and your spouse want to handle the divorce yourself, and you can always seek help from an online legal service. Both spouses can draw up a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA) themselves in which the material and personal conditions of the divorce are settled.

It is then up to the judge to ratify it (or not, if one of the spouses is clearly wronged). The judge’s assessment relates only to the legality of the terms of the divorce and the allocation of alimony. In this regard, it should be noted that its attribution is no longer automatic and granted on a case-by-case basis, depending on various factors such as the spouse’s income, health, moral contributions to the success of the other spouse.

The Mutual Consent Divorce (MSA) procedure takes approximately 6 months. After this period, the marriage is dissolved, without the need to appear in court.

When the settlement of the dissolution of the marriage is not possible amicably, recourse to a lawyer becomes essential.

Below is a sample petition for dissolution of marriage. The purpose of this document is to inform the spouse of the process initiated for the dissolution of the marriage.

sample petition for dissolution of marriage

The process of marriage dissolution:

The petition must be filed with the family relations division of the local court. The spouse who receives it then has the option of responding and whether or not to accept the various points raised in the marriage dissolution petition.

Spouses will also be asked to provide very accurate financial information to the court detailing all of their assets and liabilities. If no agreement is possible between the two spouses, then a trial will be established. Otherwise, if the case goes to trial, it will nevertheless be a process of several months and perhaps more than a year to achieve the final dissolution of the marriage. In a marriage dissolution, the grounds for the dissolution are not an issue as they are for a divorce. As a result, the dissolution of the marriage process is reduced much of the time and the associated expenses are less compared to divorce.

Divorce judgment

The simplified marriage dissolution process, when to use it?

The simplified marriage dissolution procedure varies from state to state here again, so it is imperative to consult the court on which you depend to protect yourself from the documents to provide and the procedure to follow.

You will need to fill out a form, which may vary depending on where you live.

 In some cases, it is necessary to prove that you have lived for more than 6 months in the state where the application is made. In other cases, it is necessary to justify a certain number of points which will be scrupulously checked before obtaining the petition.

Example of information that can be verified:

– If both spouses agree to end the marriage

– That the woman is not pregnant, nor in charge of minor children

– That the division of goods be fair and total

– No alimony is requested by either of the two spouses …

If all of these points listed above are not respected then it is mandatory to go through a classic marriage dissolution petition.

When is a marriage dissolved?

Your marriage is officially dissolved the day the judge signs the divorce decree. A certificate of dissolution will then be issued by the state to which you depend. This certificate is a legal and official document that provides proof of the end of the marriage. This is the same kind of document that was given to you on the wedding day.

Obtaining a dissolution of the marriage means that both spouses agree on all of the points covered throughout the proceedings and until the final hearing.

A dissolution will probably be the cheapest way to end your marriage, provided that you can honor and settle all the details (the division of financial assets, furniture, alimony, child custody….).

A dissolution is also the fastest way to complete the dissolution of your marriage. But it is not always easy to deal with emotionally.

Is dissolution cheaper than divorce?

Yes, dissolution is cheaper than divorce.

Why ? If you don’t have major disagreements with your spouse, a dissolution is often the best course of action when terminating a marriage, as it is usually faster to end the marriage than a divorce (count on average 6 months).

Divorce may be necessary in the event of a conflict between the two spouses on the way to share their patrimony (property, debts…) or on the management of the mode of custody of the children. These are usually the most sensitive points in a divorce.

Dissolution of marriage cheaper than a divorce

What is the difference between divorce and dissolution?

The “dissolution” of a marriage is generally faster, less expensive, and indicates that neither party is against the decision to separate. And that both spouses were in full agreement on the settlement before filing the dissolution petition. People who separate resolve any issues regarding child custody, property and shared debts before taking legal action. The entire administrative part of the procedure must be validated between the two spouses before either of them appears in court.

A big difference is to be noted in the event of marriage dissolution. The couple who have separated must voluntarily exchange any information. Unlike a divorce, the courts do not have the power to subpoena and the courts cannot make an order requiring either party to share information.

Divorce is not accessible amicably, so it is mandatory to hire a lawyer. Both spouses will have to go through many stages to arrive at the final procedure and judgment. They must :

• Prepare, file and serve the divorce petition which indicates the reasons for the marriage breakdown.

• Respond to this request.

• Hire a lawyer.

• Engage in the so-called “divorce discovery” procedure, where the parties collect information on witnesses, or written questions, summons to appear or even depositions. Which often becomes emotionally difficult.

• Pre-trial court applications and hearings.

• Settlement proposals and negotiations between lawyers.

• Trial.

• Appeal, in the event of disagreement on the judgment rendered.

In addition, in the event of divorce, you should know that the judge who is competent to render the judgment is not automatically the one who will be in terms of parental responsibility.

Divorce proceedings are undoubtedly more restrictive, longer, and more expensive.

See our article on Does length of marriage affect divorce settlement?

You can see frequently asked questions about spousal support here.


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