Marriage Dissolution

When a couple decides to end their marriage, divorce is the next option one could immediately think of. However, it isn’t the only available option out there. They could end such a chapter in their life with an annulment or legal separation, depending on the option that best fits their particular relationship.

Each of these options entails different legal requirements and processes. It would help to learn more about all these to decide the best action.

Marriage Dissolution

Marriage dissolution is an umbrella term comprising annulment, divorce, and legal separation. This legal and formal process is to end one’s marriage through the court. Moreover, a couple can legally end their relationship as spouses, ending their marriage.

Additionally, marriage is initially dissolved once the court issues a final decree. This would include a document containing the judge’s decisions on all the issues presented in the case. Not only this but the settlement terms are also included in the document.

Once the judge signs the decree, your marriage will be officially dissolved, and a certificate of dissolution will be issued. Like a marriage certificate, your dissolution certificate proves your marriage has ended legally.

Every country has different forms that must be filled out and different time frames for when the marriage dissolution is finalized.


Annulment is a legal determination (or a legal decision of your court) to show that your marriage was always invalid. This choice allows you to declare that the marriage didn’t exist in the first place due to invalid reasons.

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Since an annulment effectively erases the existence of the marriage, there are fewer concerns about the property. Any prenuptial agreements made by the couple are also considered invalid. Likewise, neither partner has the right to the other party’s personal property.

Grounds for Annulment

Annulments require specific evidence and circumstances to make the marriage null and void. Here, you’ll find that these two typical circumstances qualify for annulment:


Bigamy happens when one party is legally married to a third person during the time of the marriage. A state recognizes a valid marriage as existing only between two people. Therefore, having a bigamous marriage is considered void and null.

Not only this, but some countries recognize bigamy as a criminal offense,  which could be punishable with imprisonment or financial charges.

You can check in with Loukas Law or other legal sites offering advice and free marital affairs counseling.

Mental Incompetence

Mental incompetence qualifies when either party isn’t stable enough to get married due to a mental disability or under the influence of substances. If one party was utterly intoxicated while deciding to get married, such a union could be considered null and void.


A divorce legally ends a valid marriage, unlike an annulment which considers the marriage invalid in the first place. The process is more arduous since a divorce recognizes the marriage as valid in the first place. Additionally, property and prenuptial agreements are discussed.

Each partner will have a legal right to claim any personal or financial resources owned by the other party. If a couple has their prenup outlined with the distribution of resources, then the divorce will follow what’s outlined in the prenup.

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Grounds for Divorce

Grounds for divorce don’t need to have one specific circumstance to end a marriage legally. With a divorce, couples can cite irreconcilable differences (or different incidents that doomed the marriage).


Infidelity can be a ground for divorce. However, you’ll find that infidelity doesn’t have a legal impact in some countries. In these cases, the most viable option would be to file a divorce for ‘unreasonable behavior.’ While infidelity isn’t a strong suit for legal ramifications, it can have a substantial impact when resolving parenting arrangements and property and financial settlements.


If your spouse is convicted of a crime and sentenced to life inside the cell, you could also file for a divorce. In most states, imprisonment for three consecutive years due to a serious crime is an incident for imprisonment grounds.

Legal Separation

If you don’t want to end your marriage, you could always try the third option: legal separation. This entails a court order that doesn’t end the marriage. However, it inhibits parties from entering into another domestic relationship or marriage with a third person.

Reasons for Legal Separation

Although legal separation differs from couple to couple, there are common reasons, such as their children or the separation being a temporary solution.


Those with minor children often find legal separation the best solution. Although the parents would be considered separate units, they would remain together for the most part. Furthermore, those with minors would opt for a divorce once their children have adjusted to the situation.

Temporary Solution

Since divorce or annulment is permanent, those seeking a temporary solution can opt for legal separation. Couples may opt for separation as their last attempt to save their marriage.

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Final Thoughts

With this, you can grasp the differences between the three options under marriage dissolution. Moreover, learn and understand your situation best to know the best choice among the three. Marriage dissolution is a long process, so you need to learn about your choices rather than regret them later.

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