What is the Difference Between Dissolution & Divorce? 

The ending of a relationship, whether that be through divorce or dissolution, can be extremely tricky for all parties to navigate, both emotionally and legally. There are a number of financial and legal challenges that arise with these decisions, often heightened with the involvement of children.  

This article will explore dissolution and divorce and the differences between them.  

Are Dissolution & Divorce the Same? 

Dissolution and divorce follow similar principles, however, dissolution is the legal way to end a civil partnership, and divorce to end a marriage. With both actions, you must have been in either the marriage or civil partnership for at least a year before you apply.  

In both situations, you will receive a ‘final order’ document that legally shows that your marriage or civil partnership has come to an end.  

Grounds For Divorce or Dissolution 

Since 6 April 2022, due to no-fault divorce, it is no longer required to have specific reasons for dissolution and divorce. It was also allowed that each involved party could make sole or joint applications to the court in order to end the relationship.  

Previously, specific grounds for dissolution or divorce were needed to end a civil partnership or marriage. This meant that one party had to provide reasoning for the ending of the relationship, from 5 categories: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, two years of separation with consent and five years separation without consent.   

Additionally, the party had to explain how the other individual had acted unreasonably, and why they could not remain in the relationship with them. Since changes were made, only a statement that shows the marriage or civil partnership has irretrievably broken down is all that is required.  

How Long Does It Take? 

When applying for either a dissolution or divorce, it can take a minimum of 6 months. This is because there is approximately 20 weeks between the application being issued and the conditional order applied for. There is then a minimum of 6 weeks between the conditional order and the application for the final order. Of course, this timeline will all be dependent on how quickly you make other decisions throughout the process, or if you need to go to court to come to agreements.   

Do I Need a Solicitor For Divorce or Dissolution? 

Although a solicitor is not compulsory, there are lots of benefits that can come with choosing to use one. In regard to conflict and communication between you and your partner, it can be beneficial to have a third party who can speak for you. They can also represent you with your best interests in mind at Court.  

If you have children, they can ensure their best interests are also considered and represented accordingly. Legal advice from a professional can make all the difference in making the right decisions for you and your family.  

If you’re entering a new chapter and considering applying for divorce or dissolution, you don’t have to face it alone. Get in touch with our Family Solicitors here at Caversham, to discuss how we can help you.