What is the difference between a divorce (dissolution of marriage), legal separation and a nullity of marriage?
 
When you no longer wish to be married to your spouse, a dissolution of marriage is the appropriate vehicle. The dissolution of marriage process not only terminates the marital status (returning you to the status of a single person), but also resolves all other issues, i.e., child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support (alimony), property and debt division, etc.
      The process for a legal separation is identical to the dissolution of marriage process, except that the marital status is not terminated. In other words, although the custody, visitation, support and property issues are generally resolved, you and your spouse will remain married.
      A nullity of marriage is only considered when a determination is made that the marriage was either void (because of bigamy or it was incestuous), or voidable because of other factors, i.e., incapacity, fraud, undue influence, etc.

Prev - Back to Frequently Asked Questions - Next