Dissolution of Marriage Vs. Divorce

There are several different ways to end an unsatisfactory marriage, including dissolution of marriage and divorce. Both dissolution and divorce will free partners so that they are no longer married to one another. There are legal differences between the two proceedings.

Dissolution of Marriage

A dissolution of marriage is a no-fault legal proceeding. Both partners agree that the marriage should end, and they agree upon how to divide the property and the debts. They also agree on custodial and child-support issues. A Decree of Dissolution must be filed with the court and both parties must appear before the judge on a designated court date.


A divorce is necessary when the parties cannot agree upon the child support, financial settlements or division of debt. The Legal Law Help website explains that a divorce is a lawsuit that one partner files against the other. A complaint for divorce must include a reason why the marriage failed.

Advantages of Dissolution over Divorce

A dissolution of marriage takes less time and is less costly than a divorce. The parties are not required to appear in court until they have settled their financial and custodial matters, which eliminates many of the hearings and appeals that may delay a final divorce settlement.