What Does Dissolution Without Children Mean?

By Wayne Thomas

For parents of minor children, custody and support matters add a separate layer to the divorce process. Depending on state laws, parents often have more obligations that non-parents, such as attending parenting classes and making additional disclosures. For this reason, and to avoid confusion, many states offer a different filing procedure for parties without children.

Divorce and Children

A divorce, also known as a dissolution action, begins when you complete and file a complaint form. Many states have separate forms, depending on whether you have children. In determining how you should file, most states only consider children in a divorce case, if you and your spouse are the legal parents and the child is 18 or under or still in high school. If you have no minor children but your spouse is currently pregnant and you are the father, some states allow you to initially file the forms for a dissolution without children. However, you may be required to check the appropriate box that you acknowledge that custody and support will be addressed when the child is born.

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The Proper Steps in a Custody Battle

Custody battles erupt over legal custody, physical custody and child support of a child. You can file a petition for child custody and support as part of your divorce case or start a child custody case without a divorce. Married parents generally file for child custody and support as part of a divorce case. Parents can reach a custody agreement on their own or argue over custody before the court.

What Papers Do You Need to Get a Divorce?

The exact requirements and paperwork for a divorce differ from state to state, although many of the requirements are similar. For example, every state requires some type of dissolution-of-marriage form. The exact papers you need for a divorce will also depend on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. In a contested divorce, more paperwork will be required, as the divorce will require a trial or court hearing and all the paperwork associated with a trial, such as legal contracts.

How to Represent Yourself in a Dissolution

How you represent yourself in a dissolution depends in part on your marital circumstances. If you and your spouse agree on the divorce, you can file an uncontested divorce together. In some cases, you may not even need to go to court. If you and your spouse disagree on the divorce, you will likely file for a contested divorce. When your divorce involves children, child custody and child support issues may complicate your case.

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