What does the term “divorce” mean? Is this a slang term for “divorce”? Yes, in the majority of states, dissolution simply refers to the process by which a couple can permanently end their marriage. However, the procedure is quite different in a few states. Continue reading to learn more.
Dissolution vs. Divorce
In a few states, dissolution of marriage is not synonymous with divorce, as it does not permanently end the marriage. Couples may use dissolution in some states only if they agree to it and how to resolve all of their divorce-related issues, such as child support, child custody, alimony, and property division.
On the other hand, an annulment effectively nullifies (or erases) a couple’s marriage. Legal separation is distinct from dissolution. A legal separation enables a couple to petition the court for determination of divorce-related issues such as child support and spousal support without ending their marriage legally for religious or other reasons. If a court approves a legal separation, the couple is “effectively” divorced, but neither can remarry until they file for dissolution.
In this article, we’ll focus on the more common usage of the term.
How Does a Summary Dissolution Work?
In some states, dissolution proceedings are referred to as “summary dissolution,” a type of expedited divorce. In a summary dissolution, the court is presented with a signed marital settlement agreement addressing child support, custody, property division, and alimony. By presenting the judge with the signed divorce agreement, you both agree to waive a trial or judicial intervention. Couples must meet the state’s requirements for summary dissolution in order to qualify for this accelerated legal process.
In California, for example, couples who meet the following criteria may use the state’s summary dissolution process:
Both spouses must meet the state’s residency requirements in order to divorce.
Both spouses concur on the legal justification for the request (irreconcilable differences).
The household has no minor children, and neither spouse is pregnant.
The marriage lasted a little over five years.
Neither spouse owns a home (except a current residence)
The couple’s marriage is free of debts totaling more than $4,000. (excluding an automobile note)
The couple does not own more than $25,000 worth of community property, and neither spouse owns more than $25,000 worth of separate property.
The couple enters into a contract dividing their marital assets and debts.
Neither party has made a spousal support request.
Both spouses agree to waive their appeal rights, and
Both partners consent to the dissolution of the marriage.
In states that recognize this type of divorce, the cost is significantly less than a contested divorce.
Obtaining Legal Counsel
Divorce can be challenging on a variety of levels, as it often involves complex and emotionally charged issues such as child custody and support, property and debt division, and alimony (also known as “spousal support” or “maintenance”).
As a result, spouses considering divorce may wish to consult with an attorney. An experienced family law attorney can explain each of these legal issues, as well as how they might play out in your case. Additionally, whether you resolve all issues with your spouse amicably or go through a full-fledged divorce trial, an attorney can prepare all necessary divorce paperwork and ensure that your rights are fully protected.
Need an Affordable Divorce lawyer in Scottsdale?
The High Desert Family Law Group should be your first choice when you need the best divorce lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix, Arizona. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation.