Dissolution of marriage is the legal process that terminates a marriage. Divorce and dissolution are often used interchangeably, but these terms have different legal meanings. Dissolution of marriage can be thought of as being similar to no-fault divorce - meaning that when a couple files for a dissolution, neither of them are required to show any evidence of wrongdoing.
In California, the term dissolution of marriage has been officially used instead of divorce since 1970, symbolizing the no-fault approach to termination of marriage adopted by the state. Under California Family Code Section 2310, a judgment of dissolution of marriage or of legal separation may be granted only on the grounds of (1) irreconcilable differences that have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage, or (2) incurable insanity.
[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]