How a divorce differs from a dissolution of marriage

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Divorce |

When it comes to ending a marital union, two commonly used terms are divorce and dissolution of marriage.

While both may signify the end of a marriage, they differ in significant ways.

Grounds for separation

According to the CDC, 689,308 divorces occurred in 2021. However, the first step in a divorce is the establishment of grounds for the dissolution. One party needs to prove that there was a specific reason for the marriage breakdown, such as infidelity or cruelty. A dissolution of marriage does not require the identification of specific grounds. The focus is more on the mutual agreement of both partners to end the marriage.

Legal process

The legal process involved in divorce and dissolution also differs. In a divorce, the court takes an active role in deciding various aspects of the separation, such as division of property, alimony and child custody. A dissolution of marriage involves a more cooperative approach, where the parties work together to reach a settlement agreement.


Another key difference lies in the timelines of these processes. Divorces often take a longer time to finalize due to the court’s involvement. A dissolution of marriage tends to be a quicker process since it does not require extensive court proceedings.

Financial implications

Finances play an important role in any separation and the way they get handled differs between divorce and dissolution of marriage. In a divorce, the court has the authority to make decisions about the division of assets and debts. In a dissolution, the couple typically works together to create a financial agreement that suits both parties.

Understanding these differences between a divorce and dissolution can help individuals navigate the complexities of ending a marriage with clarity and informed decision-making.