What Are The Conditions That Legally Terminate A Marriage?

While laws covering marriage and its end vary from by jurisdiction, there is rarely a law which forces your marriage to end in any particular way. You might end up as partners, or even as adversaries, agreeing or fighting in court, either breaking your bank or just limiting the financial and emotional damage. At any point in the process, either of you might change your minds.

Dissolution is entirely cooperative. It’s a legal way where you both agree on all the issues and then move on. This private process is mostly under your own control, save the final judgement which becomes part of any public court record. Dissolution starts with a written separation agreement following the law of the jurisdiction in question which spells out your mutual agreements on parenting, support, and property. That gets followed by a petition for dissolution, which is the request you make to the court to legally end your marriage along the lines laid out in your separation agreement.

Violent And Hostile Affairs

Divorce is different than dissolution, because it means you and your spouse aren’t seeing things eye to eye. In fact, one of you might not want to even end the marriage or even participate in any attempt to resolve matters. Setting forth grounds for filing for divorce varies from one state to the next, where you might have no-fault grounds or grounds that assign blame. In most cases, but always check with a Family Law Attorneys to know your local laws, filing for a divorce that doesn’t get a response after formal legal notification usually means your divorce is considered to be uncontested. Divorce often means you and your spouse have unresolved issues, but it doesn’t generally mean you’re antagonists.

Divorces aren’t always violent and hostile affairs, as there are collaborative divorces in some jurisdictions. This is where both spouses sit down with their attorneys to hash things out, but in privacy and not a courtroom. Both you and your former spouse get to decide on parenting choices, property division, and support. Professional arbitration and mediation often can be used to solve issues outside of a courtroom too, so long as there is a final agreement that can be brought to the judge. Should none of these work, the least wanted choice is often litigation, where actual court arguments have to be made and everything is left up to the judge.

Ending Marriage Through Legal Way

Sometimes, a marriage is practically ended for a while but not legally, as legal separation means a formal decree about what rights and responsibilities each spouse has while they are living apart. A court can order a separation agreement covering the specific division of assets, parental rights, responsibilities, and debts, mostly the same matters a divorce or dissolution would involve itself in. This period of formal separation gives the spouses time from one another so they consider the benefits of possibly continuing their marriage, or deciding to actually end it. It can also pave the way for a divorce settlement using the pattern of negotiated agreements, so it’s smart to only agree to terms that might prove acceptable over the longer term. Planned separations are sometimes a good way to work out marriage issues before seriously contemplating divorce.

Annulment is another legal way a marriage can end, by having it simply ruled that the marriage was never actually valid in the first place. The length of any marriage wouldn’t be critical. There are typically multiple potential grounds for an annulment, but only one would have to apply. First, one party would have been underage. Second, the parties might have had a close blood relationship. Third, either party still legally married when the current one started. Fourth, either party wasn’t able to consummate their marriage. Fifth, either spouse lacked enough mental capacity to actually enter into a marriage contract. Sixth, either party got married by force or under duress. Lastly, one person went into the marriage in a state of fraud, having not revealed impotence, STDs, or criminal history.