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What’s the Difference Between Divorce and Dissolution?

There’s no ‘easy way’ of going through a separation. However, there are several options available than can lessen the stress of ending a marriage. Depending on where you live you may have the option of a divorce or dissolution. How can you know what’s the right choice for you? What’s the difference between these two methods of separation?

This blog explains divorce, dissolution, and the similarities and differences between them both. For personalized advice on what may be the best option for you and your spouse, reach out to Truce Law today.

Divorce vs. Dissolution

There is a reason that attorneys are barred in specific states, because court rules and legal terms vary across state lines. For example, outside of Washington you may use the term common law marriage, but in Washington it is known as a committed intimate relationship. Similarly, outside of Washington divorce and dissolution can be two separate proceedings. However, in Washington State divorce and dissolution are used interchangeably. Dissolution is just the formal name of the end of a marriage.

The Similarities

If you do live somewhere that has two distinct processes for divorce and dissolution they will still share some large similarities. While the route to reach them may be different, both will ultimately result in the legal end to a marriage. Each requires both parties of the separation to determine the specific terms of their split, which must explicitly address topics such as:

  • Division of property
  • Child custody
  • Payment of debts
  • Visitation
  • Spousal support
  • Payment of attorney fees

The Big Difference: Finding Fault

There’s one primary difference between divorce and dissolution. Divorce requires some type of ‘fault’ to be determined. Dissolution is an option when neither party is alleging fault of the other spouse, which is a necessary ground for divorce. If both parties agree upon their cause for divorce (which can be issues such as adultery or living apart), then divorce may apply. If both are agreeing to a separation without fault, then dissolution may apply.

Contact Truce Law for Divorce Advice

The separation process is far from easy, and this broad look at these two processes isn’t going to give you all the information you need. When every single case of divorce is so unique to the spouses involved, it’s absolutely vital that you enter the process with a certainty that you’ve found the right method for the both of you. Discussing with an expert is the best way to figure out what is going to work best with the specifics of your case. If you’re looking for divorce lawyers to help navigate a divorce that won’t drag you through endless negotiations and hearings, we’re ready to help. Contact Truce Law today to find out what’s right for you.


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