A dissolution is another type of legal procedure that can be used to end a marriage. The ultimate result of a dissolution and a divorce are the same – the marriage is terminated. However, the process to reach that termination is very different.
In a dissolution, no papers are filed with the court until the parties have reached an agreement on all of the issues to be settled. Thus there is no court involvement until an agreement is reached and filed. In contrast, in a divorce, you first file paperwork with the court and the court from the very start supervises the progress and negotiations.
In dissolutions, because there is no court involvement, there are no pre-trial meetings with the judge or magistrate, no court deadlines, no temporary orders and no subpoena powers to use. A successful dissolution requires that both parties are willing to cooperate with full disclosure and good faith negotiations. It also requires that both parties are motivated and don't need court dates looming to spur settlement action. If a dissolution is not progressing, either party can file for divorce at any time.
Dissolutions are ideal for clients who want to take control over how they will end their marriage. There is no outside pressure from a court to negotiate. We will guide you and your spouse through the process of crafting the separation agreement and/or the parenting plan. The difference between a mediation and a dissolution is that is a dissolution we actually represent you and will advocate for your position. Dissolutions tend to allow more collaboration between you and your spouse than in a traditional divorce and though we may only represent you, many times our firm is the only lawyer involved.
When an agreement is reached, it is filed with and must be approved by the court. Both parties must appear and testify that they are satisfied with the agreement; that they have made full disclosure of all assets and liabilities; that they have voluntarily signed the agreement; and that they both want the marriage dissolved. The final dissolution court appearance generally takes about ten minutes.
At Newton Law Firm, we can help you with the following:
- Determine if a dissolution is the right method to end your marriage;
- Guide you through the issues that must be settled
- Educate you as to what is reasonable to expect in a division of assets and ensure that you are getting your fair share;
- Negotiate with the opposing counsel or spouse and draft the documents to be filed with the court.