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Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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A couple is divorcing; they sat down and agreed on terms and

Customer Question

A couple is divorcing; they sat down and agreed on terms and wrote them down, including issues related to their 6 year old son. They planned to get a dissolution. Supposedly an family attorney recommended that they get a divorce decree versus a dissolution. That does not seem right. What motivation would the one spouse have for favoring a divorce decree versus a dissolution. It was mentioned that in a dissolution that a judge could decided to alter the agreement, so it was better to divorce. I smell a rat here. Please advise.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I am happy to assist you.

I am a lawyer with 25 years experience. While I am not your lawyer and do not represent you, I will endeavor to provide you with legal information through this open and nonconfidential forum.

I agree with you. A dissolution of marriage and a divorce decree are exactly the same thing. All terms that have been agreed to can be stated in the property settlement agreement and submitted to the court along with the petition for dissolution.

Please let me know if you have any questions concerning my answer.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well I clearly understand that they can accomplish the same thing, but why would my spouse want to spend about $1500 for the divorce decree versus the dissolution that we already agreed to and it is much cheaper to obtain. Are there any advantages to her for the divorce decree versus the dissolution? i.e. is it easier to change the child custody terms via the divorce versus the dissolution? I am trying to see why see is seeking a different method to accomplish the same end-- Legal separation when we agree on the terms.
Expert:  Ellen replied 5 years ago.
A "dissolution" is the legal term for "divorce". They are not separate procedures -- they are identical
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
This answer seems unresponsive. Maybe I am not asking the question correctly. Dissolution seems to be the way to go if both parties agree. Divorce seems to be the way you would go if parties do not agree. Does a judge have more say in custody matters and visitation agreements if you use dissolution versus divorce.
Expert:  Ellen replied 5 years ago.

Please let me address the question in a different manner. You are asking me if dissolution or divorce is preferable. I am telling you that there is no distinction between the 2-they are different names for the same thing. There are not 2 separate procedures. For example if you asked me if apples or apples were better, I would tell you that there is no distinction as they are the same thing. This is what you're asking me. If someone is trying to tell you they are 2 separate matters, the person may be trying to confuse you.

If you still think my answer is not responsive, please explain
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I give up. I understand what you are saying but your answer does not really help me resolve anything
Expert:  Ellen replied 5 years ago.
If you would like to rephrase your question I am happy to try to answer it

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