What You Need to Know About Divorce, Dissolution, and Separation

Sometimes, relationships don’t end up going the way we wanted them to. No matter how hard we try, it just seems like things don’t ever seem to work out. It’s at that point that one might find themselves figuring out what to do next. Some people consider separating, others consider getting a divorce, or even a dissolution of their marriage. But, for a person in this situation, what do all these things even mean? Fortunately, it’s less complicated than it sounds.

Divorce and Dissolution

You might have heard the word divorce thrown around a lot. So much so that you probably already know what it means. A divorce is generally the process one goes through when they want to put an end to their marriage. The entire process can be very complicated sometimes, but the way it generally goes is rather simple. You file for a divorce in your local court. The court will then process this and probably require a few hearings to help settle all the details between both parties. After processing it and working through settling it between the two parties, your divorce will be concluded and your marriage will then be dissolved.

Knowing this, what is a dissolution? A dissolution is basically just another term that is used to describe the process of getting a divorce. The two terms are used interchangeably and are just the same process.


A separation is when a couple chooses to stay married but would like to live apart from one another. Usually, this is done before a couple may opt to get a divorce. It’s a way for them to have some time to themselves to really think about what they want to happen with their marriage. But, unlike a dissolution or divorce, the state of Texas does not legally recognize separations. Luckily, there are alternatives to getting a legal separation.

The first option one would have would be to have an informal separation from their spouse. A couple can still choose to live apart from one another for the time being but still be married. This is just not legally recognized. But, if you’d want a legally-recognized alternative, you can choose to get a temporary order or protective order. These options are similar to a legal separation where you can have visitation rights for your children, ask for financial support, and even legally require you and your spouse to be apart from one another.

Marriages, just like a lot of other things, might not always work out. But, sometimes it’s better to call it off instead of forcing things and ending up in an even worse situation. In the state of Texas, you at least have the option to be able to do or at least give yourself time to think about it. It might not have turned out the way you were hoping, but maybe it’s for the best.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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